2020 marks the 50th annual Earth Day

22 April 2020
By Elaine Murphy
elaine@TheCork.ie

Cork company Wisetek Celebrates Earth Day 2020

To mark Earth Day 2020, the Cork company Wisetek (asset disposal, data destruction, technology reuse and manufacturing services) is calling on Irish companies to ethically manage their e-waste collection and destruction. This call to combat climate change is aligned to the theme for the 50th annual Earth Day.

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated around the world on April 22nd to demonstrate support for environmental protection. First celebrated in 1970, it now includes events coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network in more than 193 countries.

Sean Sheehan of Wisetek

Wisetek plans to host an E-Waste collection initiative at its sites in Cork on to mark Earth Day, whilst also adhering to practical distancing guidelines. Employees are being encouraged to bring along any unwanted electrical equipment that they wish to recycle.  As an expert in the area of e-waste, Wisetek has the skills and expertise to offer value recovery, secure data destruction and responsible recycling services of retired IT equipment.

The company has an ethos of responsible sustainable management of data destruction that it undertakes on behalf of clients. This is also reflected at the company’s locations across lreland, UK, USA, Middle East and Thailand. In 2019, Wisetek recycled 274 tonnes of cardboard, plastic, foam, wood, paper and other canteen waste generated at its headquarters in Cork. This equates to a saving of over 114 tonnes of CO2 and 2,000 trees. This many trees still standing absorbed over 43 tonnes of CO2.

Wisetek operates a Zero Landfill Policy and has processed over 100,000 metric tonnes of electronic equipment and over 15 million parts to date. The company has erased and destroyed over 10 million disk drives and over 7,000 enterprise rack systems have been refurbished or newly manufactured. This amounts to approximately €1 billion in components recovered for its clients’ internal use.

The company estimates the total amount of CO2 saved last year as a result of recycling at its Cork headquarters was over 158 tonnes, the equivalent of removing 32 average-sized family cars from Irish roads for the year. Wisetek aims to reduce its carbon footprint and by a further 50% in 2020.

Sean Sheehan, CEO of Wisetek, said:

“The proper management of e-waste is a key element of sustainability, and Wisetek aims to raise awareness how to dispose of it in a responsible manner. Earth Day is a global opportunity to promote this message and as a global company, it is important that it is marked. I would like to thank our employees for their continued dedication to e-waste sustainability. Electronics often contain materials which can be hazardous to the environment, so ethical companies must ensure that they have in place protocols for the proper disposal of e-waste.”

According to figures from the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum, the amount of e-waste being produced around the globe is rising by 3 – 4% annually. Electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world.  Only 20% of this waste is recycled, with the rest being dumped in landfills, burnt or illegally traded.

Wisetek recently became the second company in the world to join the prestigious e-Stewards committed program, an independent certification recognizing its worldwide sites for ethical e-waste recycling.

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