IBM: We could make 157 Airbus airliners out of our recycled products

Big Blue today was out waving its big green flag saying that over thee past four years its Global Asset Recovery Services IT equipment recycling arm processed 88,512 metric tons of end-of-life product and material through its de-manufacturing centers, a weight equivalent to 157 Airbuses; or over 1.6 fully loaded Titanic-sized luxury liners; or enough metal equivalent to the metal contained in more than three Eiffel Towers. 

The company said from 2002 to 2007, over 9.8 million parts have been collected for potential reuse not to mention that the business unit now generates about $2 billion for IBM.

Some other interesting facts about IBM's Global Asset Recovery unit from 2003 through 2007:

  • It has resold or reused over 4.6 million machines.
  • Over 85% of the machines returned to the group's remanufacturing centers are resold or reused.
  • In 2007, the unit processed an estimated 40,000 machines or 1.8 million pounds per week around the world.
  • From 2002 through 2007, the group harvested over 12.7 million parts from returned machines and sold them for reuse.
  • Since 1995, when IBM first began reporting the volumes of product waste it collected and recovered (which includes products resold, refurbished, or recycled) in the company's annual corporate environmental report, IBM has documented the collection and recovery of more than 1.5 billion pounds of product waste.
  • In 2007 IBM processed nearly 100 million pounds end of life equipment and material with only 0.78% returned to landfills or incinerated.
  • From 2002 through 2007, IBM rebuilt more than 1,500 System z Servers and put them back into service as hybrids (a machine consisting of both new and old, harvested parts) with IBM Certified Used warranties.

IBM was one of five companies researchers at IDC this week recognized as leaders in the IT product recycling realm. The firm said Dell, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intechra, and Redemtech were the first recipients of IDC's Green Recycling and Asset Disposal for the Enterprise (GRADE.) certification. The certification process is based on 34 IT Asset Disposal related functions.  IDC said among the most scrutinized areas in need of improvement today are guaranteeing zero landfill policy and full recyclability of retired materials. Additionally, providing a thorough accounting of asset disposal outcomes, in terms of cost, carbon emission control, toxic waste elimination, and visibility on export destinations are critical to be considered for the award.

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