Climate change continues to impact our daily lives and communities are taking the initiative to promote the use of renewable energy, recycle and more to celebrate Earth Day 2020 and reduce their carbon footprint – which experts say is the primary driver of climate change.1
I wasn’t surprised to read a report from the Pew Research Center that found that 59 percent of Americans say climate change is currently affecting their local community. From shifting weather patterns that result in severe rainstorms, hurricanes, heat waves, wildfires to rising seas that increase the risk of catastrophic flooding.
For decades, Americans had no stringent guidelines or laws to guard against the effects of climate change. This is why 50 years ago, millions of people celebrated in streets across America, gathering for a nationwide day of environmental education and activism — the first Earth Day.
This year, Earth Day is April 22, and the theme for 2020 is climate action, which coincides with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 that advocates for urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts by 2030.
Earth Day 2020 is the perfect time for businesses to redress climate change and companies continue to mitigate and adapt innovative initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint. Here are some powerful examples of how we are doing our part at Tech Data.
- Recycling End-of-Life IT Assets for Future Investment
Tech Data provides Information Technology Asset Disposition (ITAD) services that help partners realize the value of aging end-of-life IT assets such as computers, servers and storage devices by remarketing, refurbishing and recycling the hardware.
Providing these services for more than 20 years, Tech Data sorts the IT assets into parts and components that can be resold versus those that can be recycled. Those intended for recycling are further sorted according to commodity type and then traced downstream until they are fully processed back to raw materials.
ITAD’s core environmental protection policy calls for zero landfills, zero incineration and zero export of non-functioning assets or e-waste. In the past two years, Tech Data has diverted 25 million pounds of eScrap into proper channels for reuse and responsible recycling. Alongside these efforts, the company continues to focus on recycling packaging materials, plastics, pallets, and the other debris that are generated just by shipping and receiving.
“We encourage our partners to take a proactive approach when thinking through retiring assets. We can help you find value, remove complexity, and protect yourselves from non-compliant poor practices.”
Andy Yother, Tech Data’s Director of Systems Engineering
In Canada, Tech Data’s ITAD services are powered by the Co2NeutralTM program, where customers receive cash and carbon credits for use toward new product purchases, charitable donations and meeting sustainability goals.
Learn more about Tech Data’s ITAD services here.
2. Green Building LEED Certification
Tech Data’s facility in San Antonio, Texas, received a Certified LEED award from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) upon completion of the building in 2015. USGBC recognized this facility’s excellence in “green” building for including sustainable practices like low-irrigation landscaping, full LED automated lighting systems, electric vehicle charging stations, and stormwater recollection ponds.
3. Harnessing Solar Energy
Tech Data employees are not only enjoying covered parking at the company’s Tempe, Arizona, facility, but also benefit from the sun’s energy. Solar panel fields are installed on the building roof and on the covered parking canopies. Tech Data is now in its sixth year since it flipped the switch on a new 1,000-kilowatt, a solar initiative that supplies more than 60 percent of the energy load for the Tempe office facility.
This installation leverages Arizona’s sunny climate to help meet the facility’s energy needs in a greener and more cost-effective way. The 3,724 solar panels have generated, on average, more than 2.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. The project has helped reduce Tech Data’s carbon emissions by 1,272 metric tons annually—the equivalent of removing 268 cars from the road each year.
4. Electric Car Charging Stations
Several of our facilities feature electric-vehicle charging stations and research has shown that electric cars are better for the environment as they emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their life compared to a gasoline or diesel car.
5. Lighting Retrofits Using LED Technology
Tech Data has retrofitted its lighting fixtures to incorporate high-efficiency LED technology at its logistics centers (LCs) in Swedesboro, New Jersey; South Bend, Indiana; Fort Worth, Texas; Fontana, California and Suwanee, Georgia; with a re-lamping scheduled for offices in Clearwater this fiscal year.
The company has seen success as the project directly impacts the bottom line by decreasing energy usage, which converts to a decrease in monthly utility spend. This also improves the quality at the LCs, which enhances customer experience.
“We have saved on repair and maintenance as the fixtures and bulbs have longer service lives.”
Brandon Johnson, Tech Data’s Director of Logistics, Fort Worth, Texas
6. Office Recycling Program
Tech Data offices across the Americas promote the use of recycling through local municipal recycling services, where available. In addition, many locations have bottle filling stations which reduce lead and other harmful particulates, putting cleaner, healthier water within employee reach. The filling station has a green ticker that informs employees of the number of plastic water bottles saved from waste by using refillable bottles.
10 Tips to Help You Celebrate Earth Day
As a pledge to save ‘Mother Earth’ this Earth Day, here are my top 10 tips to routinely practice and celebrate our earth as you reduce your carbon footprint.
- Educate yourself by reading about Earth Day here and about the UN Sustainable Development Goal 13 aimed at combating climate change here.
- Hydrate by using a refillable water bottle and coffee mug.
- Shop smart by carrying reusable grocery bags.
- Enjoy our planet – set aside time to enjoy nature walks and bike rides.
- Switch to e-billing and online invoices and receipts.
- Consider installing a play garden for your kids and a vegetable garden for your family.
- Fix leaking faucets to reduce water consumption.
- Plant a tree or donate towards a tree-planting project.
- Businesses can enter into Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) that are key for smart cities to participate in sustainable solutions like smart street lighting and smart parking.
- Create awareness by sharing this article on social media and join the Earth Day conversation using the hashtags #EarthDay2020 and #EarthRise.
Everyone can help. It doesn’t matter how small the action is, if we all do the little we can, collectively, we can make a difference. I am proud to work at a company that is proactively finding ways to reduce its carbon footprint.
About the Author
Emah Madegwa is the Digital Communications Manager for Tech Data Americas region. She is responsible for social and web-based marketing communications strategies in support of amplifying the Tech Data brand, increasing user engagement through social and digital tools, and deriving insights to help optimize communication strategies across the region. Prior to joining Tech Data, Emah worked as a communications specialist in the IT and bio-pharma industries and for the United Nations (UN). Emah’s background and profile can found on LinkedIn.