ITAD is an industry term referring to businesses or vendors specialized in providing solutions to organizations that generate surplus IT equipment. It includes the practice of reusing, recycling, repurposing, repairing or disposing of end-of-life or unwanted IT equipment.
The industry is heavily regulated to ensure that sensitive data is properly erased and disposed of, and that electronic waste is handled in an environmentally-friendly way. Standards such as R2/RIOS, e-Stewards, and ISO 14001 provide guidelines for companies to follow to ensure compliance with laws and regulations. Companies must often obtain certifications to demonstrate their compliance with these standards.
It is important for organizations to choose a dependable ITAD (Information Technology Asset Disposition) provider that adheres to industry standards to ensure proper handling and disposal of sensitive data. Compliance and certification are key elements to consider when selecting a provider, as they provide a level of assurance that the provider is following proper procedures to protect the organization’s data and information. This can be a complex task for companies new to the industry, but understanding the basics of compliance and certification can help ensure the security and protection of the business.
There are 3 standards that all companies must adhere to in the ITAD industry. They are:
1. Environmental Standards are regulations that ensure electronic devices are properly recycled or disposed of in a manner that is safe for the environment and in compliance with local, state, and federal laws. These standards also ensure that hazardous materials present in electronic devices are handled and disposed of properly to prevent harm to people and the environment.
2. Data Security Standard – Data security is the practice of protecting digital data from unauthorized access, corruption, or theft throughout the assets’ entire lifecycle. It aims to protect an organization’s IT assets against cybercriminal activities, insider threats, and human error. Robust data security strategies also automate reporting to streamline audits and ensure adherence to regulatory requirements.
3. Social Responsibility Standards encompass a wide range of issues, including:
- Philanthropy: Find out what causes are important to your employees and support these causes.
- Environmental: Your organization is serious about reducing their impact on the environment. This could include, going paperless, using energy-efficient lighting and working with an ITAD provider to properly dispose of end-of-life electronic assets.
- Ethical Labor: You only work with vendors who care about ethical labor practices and you abide by the same rules within your organization.
What Are the Most Common ITAD Certifications & Standards
- R2 (Responsible Recycling) – This certification ensures that ITAD providers follow environmentally responsible practices when disposing of electronic waste.
- e-Stewards – This certification is similar to R2 and focuses on the responsible disposal of electronic waste in a manner that protects human health and the environment.
- ISO 14001 – This standard is an internationally recognized environmental management system that helps organizations to minimize their environmental impact and comply with environmental regulations.
- NAID AAA – This certification is for data destruction companies and requires that they meet strict standards for the secure destruction of confidential data.
- OHSAS 18001 – This standard is for occupational health and safety management systems and helps organizations to identify and control workplace hazards and comply with relevant laws and regulations.
- ISO 27001 – This standard is for information security management systems and helps organizations to protect their sensitive information from unauthorized access, disclosure, alteration, or destruction.
In order for your company to follow the Best Practices for IT Asset Disposition, the above certifications and standards must be met. While there are many different ITAD certifications and standards, not all of them are created equal. Some are more comprehensive than others, and some are more widely recognized than others. Therefore, when choosing an ITAD certification or standard to comply with, be sure to do your research to make sure it’s the right fit for your company.