BAE Systems minimising environmental impact. BAE Systems is a global company engaged in the development, delivery and support of advanced defence and aerospace systems in the air, on land and at sea. They have customers and partners in more than 100 countries and have worked in partnership with CSC since 1994. BAE Systems environmental policy and framework is focused on preventing or controlling environmental impacts and minimising waste.
“The work carried out has strengthened our overall IT systems-based partnership, and the dialogue we have entered into has revealed further opportunities for ‘green’ IT that are currently being explored.”
The Clients Challenge
Every year the Military Air Solutions division of BAE Systems deploys around 3,500 laptops, PCs and workstations and the typical lifecycle of which is no more than four years. The equipment arrives in substantial cardboard and polystyrene packaging. Historically, approximately three tonnes of cardboard and 0.5 tonnes of polystyrene per annum were taken to onsite skips and either sent for recycling or out to landfill, resulting in both an environmental burden and significant disposal costs.
BAE Systems recognised the need to reduce the environmental impact of this process and to find a more cost effective and efficient method of disposing or re-using IT equipment and associated materials. Working alongside equipment supplier partner Specialist Computer Centres (SCC), BAE Systems’IT infrastructure provider CSC has devised an innovative approach to recycling or reutilising this equipment.
CSC focuses on refurbishing and extending the life of IT equipment where possible by carrying out end-of life analysis.
CSC then engaged with its IT systems deployment partner, SCC, and conducted a review of the existing process of disposing of IT equipment and associated materials onsite at BAE Systems.
The focus of the review was on driving efficiencies, concentrating on areas where significant quantities of wastage were generated. The team then pinpointed areas where recycling and re-usage could be applied and packing eliminated.
All parties to the project - BAE Systems, CSC and SCC – pooled resources to develop and deliver the approach. SCC has always had in place a disposal/re-use/refurbishment process for IT equipment. This is continuing but as part of the new process, SCC collects equipment and packaging from the central site and either refurbishes or disposes of it in line with agreed criteria.
A database provides tracking of waste, electrical and electronic equipment loads from the enduser’s collection request through to segregation, final materials reprocessing and mass balance accounting. The system can define recovery rates on specific loads and provide extensive WEEE reporting output, together with subsequent evidence for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and regulatory, environmental agency requirements.
SCC and CSC continue to work with their respective supply chains to see whether packaging can be modified at the supply end to improve re-use and whether other unused items can be removed at source.
The consultative process identified further opportunities for a “Green IT” approach across BAE Systems’ business:
- Rolling out the new packaging disposal process to all BAE Systems’ sites;
- Rolling out the process to all CSC customers;
This project has achieved a broad range of benefits for BAE Systems, for the end customer and, most importantly of all, for the environment. BAE Systems no longer incurs the cost of recycling the material. This recycling is carried out as part of the overall process at no extra cost to the business.
The performance improvement around the contribution to BAE Systems’ corporate social responsibilities is significant and the process is now fully in place and delivering the benefits to the company’s environmental footprint.
All cardboard and polystyrene packaging delivered with the 3,500 PCs laptops and workstations that the business procures every year is now removed from site and 100 per cent reused or recycled in line with European Community Directive regulations.
This has been achieved with minimal cost of implementation, no recurring cost to BAE Systems and no disruption to the end user. It has also demonstrated the partnership approach of BAE.
Systems, CSC and SCC and the joint commitment of the three companies to the environment. From BAE Systems’ perspective, another key benefit is that its IT suppliers no longer need to use its onsite skips and other disposal facilities. In fact, the whole disposal process is more efficient and cost-effective than it was previously.
This includes reduced landfill and capital expenditure and savings in embodied carbon. Where physical IT equipment cannot be re-used, refreshed or refurbished, it is disposed of in line with Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) regulations.
The most far-reaching benefit of the work carried out is the fact that the processes embodied by the new approach to reuse and recycling of IT materials can now be applied across other parts of BAE Systems’ estate as well as other CSC customers – a particularly positive development in the current economic climate.
“The success of the partnership approach applied on this project has demonstrated the ability of BAE Systems, CSC and SCC to work together in an extremely effective way. The work carried out has strengthened our overall IT systems-based partnership, and the dialogue we have entered into has revealed further opportunities for ‘green’ IT that are currently being explored. ”BAE Systems