Why, how, and who should reuse old tech?

12 July 2023
By Oliver Urb, Infrastructure Planning and Design Manager
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Importance of reusing old tech

There are different angles of this. Let's dive into some of them. 

Conservation of Resources: Reusing tech helps prevent unnecessary waste of valuable resources such as minerals, metals, and rare elements.

Environmental Impact: By reusing tech, we can significantly reduce electronic waste, minimizing the harmful effects on the environment.

Financial Savings: Reusing tech within a company or donating it to non-profit organizations can result in cost savings for both the company and the recipient. 

Reusing something is a lifestyle that refers to the fact that you analyze your possible actions and choose the optimal option for the future. It doesn’t matter what substance we are talking about but rather a fact that all the resources in the world are limited, and we should treat all of them carefully.

Playtech implements various methods to give their old tech a second life 

Reusing Devices Internally - Playtech repurposes technology within the company, such as hardware in the middle of its lifecycle, by shipping them to locations where they are needed most. This maximizes the value of existing resources and reduces the need for new equipment. Another solution is that we are donating some to public institutions - Playtech donates usable tech to non-profit organizations like universities and schools, supporting learning and training purposes. However, in this case, it is crucial to remove all possible media to avoid any potential data leaks. 

The right solution highly depends on the moment where you are on the lifecycle of the equipment. Similar to living subjects, the devices also have their curve of life, and as we have a cross-section in our life same corresponds to tech. Reusing hardware that is in the middle of its lifecycle is common by shipping them to needed locations dependent of the value, the criticality of the project, availability of the elements in general. For example, reusing a switch sent from Taiwan to Ireland can be justified if the production time of the switch is six months, but we have a critical blocker from business wise which weighs over any investment. 


Are all devices reusable? 

In theory, all tech devices are reusable. However, caution must be taken when dealing with devices that store sensitive information. Media that can be recovered, like hard drives in servers, are commonly physically destroyed before reuse. Routers and switches, on the other hand, can often be donated as they are, provided sensitive configurations and data are wiped clean. 

If the world does not prioritize the efficient reuse of tech, several consequences can arise. The most important of them are: 

Increased Electronic Waste - More tech devices will end up in landfills, contributing to the growing problem of electronic waste.

Resource Depletion - Valuable resources used in tech manufacturing, such as rare elements, will continue to be depleted more quickly.

Environmental Harm - The improper disposal of tech can lead to hazardous materials seeping into the environment, causing pollution and health risks for communities. 

The world is changing quickly. There are already enormous investments and research focused on new materials. The footprint of using high-tech in our everyday life is increasing in a very high speed. So the demand to produce artificial and more clever devices mimicking nature is in kind of correlation to the Moore's Law, where transistors number in the circuit in fixed size doubles every two years. The basis enabling such speed is the ability to print material in a very compact way 


Methods to reduce a company's environmental footprint

Companies can adopt various methods to reduce their environmental footprint, and the use of Green Energy is something to start with. Switching to renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power, can minimize reliance on fossil fuels. When talking about offices, waste recycling is something we can never underestimate the value of. Implementing recycling programs for paper, plastic, and other waste materials helps reduce the overall environmental impact. For that, Playtech is having successful co-operation with HUBBUB organization. Also - sustainable Transportation is the future. A company should encourage employees to utilize public transportation or incorporating carpooling initiatives can lower emissions from commutes. 

In Playtech Estonia, we are working towards taking those steps every day, and our aim is to present us as an example to other tech companies.  

In conclusion, I would say that reusing old tech has numerous benefits, including conserving resources, minimizing environmental impact, and reducing costs. Playtech serves as an example by implementing various methods to repurpose old tech devices responsibly. Companies interested in repurposing their tech can follow suit by donating to non-profits, reusing devices internally, or recycling responsibly. Embracing reusability contributes to a sustainable future and showcases a commitment to corporate social responsibility.