COVID-19 intensified the enterprise e-waste problem

The pandemic accelerated the e-waste problem as enterprises bought more devices for the WFH transition but forgot to change their behaviour around e-waste. We need better sustainable practices around enterprise e-waste.


Sustainability has become a buzzword in the enterprise world, with both governments and businesses pledging to do their part to tackle climate change. And while sustainability and climate change are two important areas of focus, there is one major problem that enterprises have overlooked – e-waste. Besides the risk of unauthorised access to sensitive data, discarding technology improperly can produce excess carbon emissions and toxic pollutants – in 2019 alone, more than 53 million metric tonnes of e-waste was produced, with a prediction it will reach 74Mt by 2030. Clearly, this is a problem that is not going away.

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated this crisis as businesses scrambled to buy technology to help their employees work remotely. According to research by Blancco Technology Group, nearly 97% of enterprises had to purchase additional devices like laptops, with 75% buying them brand new. A trend that likely occurred across a variety of businesses such as schools, banks, or even government organisations.

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