The Green Grid, the not-for-profit consortium that works to improve the energy efficiency of datacentres, has launched a metric called Electronics Disposal Efficiency (EDE) that can help datacentre managers measure how their electronic equipment is managed once it reaches its end-of-life.
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The EDE universal metric will allow IT professionals to measure how good they are at responsibly managing outdated datacentre equipment and their progress in improving equipment disposal processes over time.
EDE is derived by calculating the percentage, based on unit or product weight, of decommissioned IT equipment at its end-of-current-use or end-of-life (EOL) stage that is disposed of through known responsible entities.
Discarded EEE entering the waste stream is known globally as e-waste or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE). Some examples of WEEE include computers, TVs, mobile devices, home entertainment products, toys and even goods such as refrigerators and stoves.
The WEEE Directive, passed in the European Community (EC) in February 2003, mandates that manufacturers are responsible for the disposal of their products and must deal with their disposal in an environmentally-responsible manner. The Directive also says the consumer of the goods should be able, at a minimum, to return them, free of charge, to the manufacturer for disposal.
The evolution of WEEE has prompted the energy-efficiency body to combine the expertise of other organisations which define standards and requirements for e-waste management with its own members’ knowledge and understanding of the e-waste management challenges facing the IT community, according to The Green Grid.
The EDE metric quantifies how well a corporate consumer of IT EEE responsibly manages e-waste.
“The Green Grid isn’t trying to redefine any domain-specific terminology in the WEEE arena,” said Kathrin Winkler, a board member of The Green Grid.
It wanted to use the work already done in the area and apply its organisational experience with defining and implementing metrics to create a measurement and management structure around it, she said.
The organisation intends for the EDE metric to be used as a way for organisations to measure themselves and improve over time, rather than act as a score to be compared with other entities.
“Our hope is that the EDE metric will influence change on a global scale, and that organisations will be more aware of waste streams, ultimately helping them reduce datacentre e-waste in the future," said Winkler.
To help datacentre managers improve their handling of e-waste, The Green Grid has also put together some best practice tips, in collaboration with the United Nation’s academic arm, designed to help them identify what they are disposing and understand where the waste streams are going.