Green computing has lead to a snowball effect of sorts with companies looking at the impact of the IT equipment they purchase in the wider context of driving down carbon footprint, writes Wale Arewa, CEO at Xperien.

Already organisations have started to weigh up their options that include the move towards software virtualisation; however, there is another option, often overlooked due to a general lack of awareness.
IT Asset Recovery is a feasible alternative and by no means a radical idea; even downright logical if think about it. In a nutshell, IT asset recovery enables greener computing by extending the life of productive IT assets and redeploying them at end- of- life. (EOL)
So what is the lifetime of the average PC, enterprise server or router? Conservatively three; however, why should this equipment not have second lease on life, if you will, moving away from more critical functions to secondary operations?
The reality is there is a lot more to IT Asset Recovery than you might think.  "A lot of great kit came on the market after the dot com bust in 2001, when you could pick up a $2m server for $100, 000," comments Simon Forge, a partner at Ptak, Noel & Associates, an analyst organisation that has recently started tracking the refurbished market in depth.
From a green computing perspective, companies can provide EOL equipment to users of second-hard hardware or charitable organisations as opposed to dumping it in a landfill.
In another green computing move, IT Asset Recovery also de-manufactures equipment into materials such as metals, plastic and glass which are subsequent redistributed to the relevant industries.
So what steps can companies take towards asset recovery, and more importantly, green computing?  The most important thing is to establish a lifecycle policy which governs "what", "when" and "how" to dispose of the IT equipment.
Tracking and evaluating assets will enable organisations to make informed decisions about their equipment.  Additionally, by putting refurbishment procedures in place companies can both repair faults and extend the productive life of their equipment.
Next would be the re-deployment or disposal of equipment which will result in the re-use or sale of equipment.  Lastly, is de-manufacturing of equipment which allows for the maximisation of raw material.
New hardware or equipment which has gone thorough its first lifecycle are eligible for asset recovery. In the case of new equipment, often companies purchase the wrong kit and should rather use asset recovery services to dispose of equipment in a more environmentally friendly manner.
Comments Ptak, Noel & Associates: "Reusing what we have is a better long-term way of managing resources, and this way we won't be sending quite so much to China to be broken up."
IT Asset Recovery not only saves on capital expenditure and support but enables organisations to take the route that is greener and undoubtedly more impactful.