BAE Systems Minimizes Environmental Impact
- Reduce the environmental impact of BAE Systems’ annual deployment of 3,500 laptops, PCs and workstations, which generated three and a half tons of packaging each year.
- A new waste-management process drives efficiencies and minimizes BAE’s environmental footprint.
- The new solution enables 100 percent reuse or recycling of IT packaging,
- meets European Community Directive regulations and eliminates BAE’s disposal costs.
Every year BAE Systems’ Military Air Solutions Division deploys around 3,500 laptops, PCs and workstations. And each year, this influx of technology generates approximately three tons of cardboard and half a ton of polystyrene packaging, all destined for onsite dumpsters. The result: both an environmental burden and significant disposal costs. BAE knew it needed to reduce the environmental impact of this process and find a more cost-effective and efficient method of disposing of or reusing IT equipment and associated materials.
Taking a team approach
The company turned to CSC, its IT infrastructure provider, and Specialist Computer Centres (SCC), its equipment supplier, to develop and deliver a new approach for recycling and reuse. CSC applied end-of-life analysis to refurbish and extend the life of the IT equipment where possible.
CSC and SCC also reviewed BAE’s existing IT disposal process. They first focused on driving efficiencies where significant waste was generated, and then pinpointed areas where recycling and reuse could be applied and packing eliminated. SCC already had a reuse and refurbishment process for IT equipment in place. It now also collects equipment and packaging from BAE’s central site and either refurbishes or disposes of it in line with agreed criteria.
A database helps track waste, and electrical and electronic equipment loads from the end user’s collection request through to separation, final materials reprocessing and mass balance accounting. The system can define recovery rates on specific loads, and provide extensive reporting output tied to Europe’s Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. It also provides subsequent evidence for Corporate Social Responsibility, regulatory and environmental agency requirements.
Achieving benefits beyond Green
Besides reducing BAE’s contribution to local landfills and reinforcing the firm’s standing as an environmentally responsible corporate citizen, this project had other benefits. For BAE, it eliminated the firm’s expense of recycling these packing materials; also, its IT suppliers no longer need to use BAE’s onsite dumpsters and other disposal facilities. The new approach can be applied across other parts of BAE as well. “This successful partnership has demonstrated the ability of BAE Systems, CSC and SCC to work together in an extremely effective way,” says Christina Aspden, head of IM&T Service Improvement at BAE. “The work has also strengthened our overall IT systems-based partnership and revealed further opportunities for Green IT that we are currently exploring.”
In line with regulations
Now that the process is in place, all cardboard and polystyrene packaging delivered with PCs, laptops and workstations is removed from site and 100 percent of it is reused or recycled in line with European Community Directive regulations. When physical IT equipment cannot be reused, refreshed or refurbished, it is disposed of according to WEEE regulations. This has been achieved with minimal implementation costs, no recurring cost to BAE and no disruption to end users. Today, CSC and SCC continue to work with their respective supply chains to see whether packaging can be modified at the supply end to improve reuse, and whether other unused items can be removed at the source.
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