Despite targets to reduce e-waste, Aussie businesses are prematurely discarding devices

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

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Businesses across Australia are disposing of their electronic devices too early in their life cycle, despite targets to reduce e-waste, global research from Soti reveals.

The research was conducted online among 2500 IT decision-makers (specialists and above) who work for companies with 50 or more employees across eight countries, including Australia, the US, Canada, Mexico, Germany, the UK, Sweden and France. 

According to the study, 72 per cent of IT leaders of Australian companies believe e-devices are disposed of unnecessarily. 43 per cent of which believe that laptops and tablets as the most commonly disposed of electronics, and 32 per cent for mobile phones and printers.

This is despite 58 per cent of these leaders having targets for reducing e-waste and 54 per cent working towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) key performance indicators (KPIs) around sustainable device management. 

Despite having sustainability targets in place, 63 per cent believe that having the latest mobile technology hardware at their disposal makes their organisation more attractive for workers to stay in their company.

The survey also found the many factors contributing to the unnecessary disposal of devices in the country.

Among the IT leaders surveyed, 43 per cent agree that they replace mobile phones when a newer model comes out, while 41 per cent replace tablets and laptops for the same reason, and 25 per cent replace printers. 

Furthermore, 40 per cent said that they replace their mobile phones once the warranty expires, with 42 per cent replacing laptops and tablets and 33 per cent disposing of printers for the same reason.

The study also found that 35 per cent of IT leaders replace mobile phones even if they are still functional, while 45 per cent do the same with tablets and laptops, and 30 per cent for printers. 

While the company provides financial support for replacing e-devices, very little of the budget goes to extending their lifespan, stated the report.

For example, businesses usually relate the end of a battery’s life to the devices. Almost all (91 per cent) of electronic devices have replaceable batteries, but only 35 per cent of the organisation’s annual budget is dedicated to battery replacement.

Michael Dyson, VP of Sales, Australia and New Zealand at Soti, said: “Devices aren’t thrown away accidentally”, explains Michael Dyson, VP of sales in Australia and New Zealand, Soti. “There is always a decision made, and it shouldn’t be as simple as seeing a newer version on the market, seeing the battery die, or just ‘expecting’ it to need replacing soon.”

Kaycee Enerva

Kaycee Enerva

A digital content manager based in the Philippines, Kaycee Enerva has written for multiple publications over several years. A graduate of Computer Science, she exchanged a career in IT to pursue her passion for writing. She's slowly practicing sustainability through period cups, and eating more plant-based food.

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