Corporations Left Exposed to Significant Data Security and Sustainability Risks

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SustainMobile today published results of research that show the vast majority of corporations, by handling their End-of-Life ICT assets irresponsibly, are exposed to substantial data security and sustainability risks.

SustainMobile, pan-European leader in lifecycle solutions for mobile devices, today published results of research that show corporations are exposed to substantial data security and sustainability risks.

This year alone, an estimated 50 million company-issued mobile phones across the European Union will reach end of life (EoL). Less than 10% of these will be recycled, leaving the vast majority of devices to find their ways into drawers, dustbins and onto eBay. The average smart phone contains more than 30 thousand pages of data when reaching EoL. Moreover, these devices hold a high content of hazardous metals and carcinogenic compounds such as lead, mercury, and arsenic. One mobile phone, if thrown away, can pollute almost 150.000 liters of ground water.    

An investigation conducted by SustainMobile shows that, while the vast majority of European Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) express they have adequate solutions in place for handling EoL mobile devices, in reality less than 5% of them do. These companies have typically transferred responsibility to their telecom services provider and consider themselves protected by the outsourcing contract.

Upon further investigation, these operators themselves demonstrated a glaring absence of proper solutions. All of them run sustainability programs, but these typically concentrate on minimizing the energy-use of their datacenters and base stations. If available at all, business-to-business end-of-life programs entail little more than auctioning off obsolete or returned stocks of devices to the highest bidding party. Operators hardly keep track of the destination of these devices, which has led to illegal transport of E-waste, along with illegal dumping practices, hazardous child labor and classified company information ending up on public websites.

Under certain national environmental regulations in the EU, a company’s senior executives may be held personally liable if their business is found not to handle its end-of-life assets responsibly. Even if not held liable, a business would have left untapped an attractive opportunity to enhance their Corporate Social Responsibility and information security profiles without a lifecycle solution in place.

About SustainMobile
SustainMobile (http://www.sustainmobile.com) is Europe’s leading provider of lifecycle management solutions for mobile devices. The company helps clients achieve unrivalled levels of information security, compliance and sustainability performance through programs that uniquely ensure ICT assets such as smart phones and tablet PCs are properly collected and processed when reaching EoL. SustainMobile’s ‘New Fleet Solutions’ allow clients to achieve ICT asset efficiencies by offering harmonized though client-specific fleets across their European footprint. SustainMobile operates at the exciting intersection of the Cleantech and Mobile/Telecom industries. It is a privately held company holding offices in London, Amsterdam, and Prague.

© 2011 SustainMobile. All rights reserved.

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Ron van Valkengoed
SustainMobile
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