The 3 Rs of Sustainable Computing – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Three letter Rs with three arrows surrounding them in a circle

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2019

A few years ago, global ads ran encouraging residents to be more environmentally-conscious. The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle advertisements prompted a change in the way that consumers approach the issue of waste. 

Somewhat unexpectedly, these three principles also apply to the issue of enterprise IT and data storage. 


Consumers are encouraged to reduce consumption, to avoid buying new products unless strictly necessary. Unfortunately, the IT hardware industry is built on the principle of regular upgrades– whether they are needed or not. 

Instead of following the OEM-defined upgrade cycle, your business can save money (and reduce the environmental impact of operations) by keeping existing systems in place for longer. Reducing the purchase of new systems increases computing sustainability.


As storage ages, it may no longer provide the data speeds required for use in frontline operations. This is not to say the hardware is completely useless, however– it is likely to be more than adequate for secondary or archiving operations. 

Instead of dumping these older arrays, look for opportunities to redeploy redundant hardware in ways that add value and increase operational efficiencies elsewhere in your business.


Eventually systems will no longer perform according to your needs and will be unsuitable even for use in an archiving role. At this point you will need to dispose of them. 

Recycling services from CDS offer two choices. The first is to have the equipment disposed of responsibly, ensuring that components are properly disassembled and materials are reclaimed for reuse. The second is using asset recovery to sell systems to a third party. This allows you to unlock any residual value and gives the buyer an opportunity to further reduce their own “consumption” of newer systems.

The Three Rs

The three Rs– reduce, reuse, recycle– may have been aimed at end users and consumers, but the principles do have merit for businesses who want to become more socially responsible. To learn more about how CDS can help you apply the three Rs, please give us a call.

Download article as a PDF - The 3 Rs of Sustainable Computing – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

More Articles

Icon of a gear transforming from clear to pixelated

The Culture of Change: Do You Have It?

Digital transformation is more than a technical challenge, and many businesses are making a critical mistake treating it as one.

Cloud in front of a series of clocks, with number five next to image

Warning Signs You Must Delay Cloud Adoption: Part 5

The last article in this short series discusses resource shortages, and how a lack of time should force a pause on cloud adoption.