In 1989, IBM began offering product take-back services for clients. Moreover, it had robust programs for remanufacturing and reuse of products returned from client lease arrangements for decades prior to 1989. Today, IBM’s Global Asset Recovery Services (GARS) organization applies a high level of business intelligence and analytics in the reuse and redistribution of its assets, including those assets managed for IBM’s clients. This facilitates the maximization of reuse across the product lifecycle.
Where possible, and so that these assets are kept at their highest utility and value, priority is given to reuse of whole equipment or its sub-assemblies before addressing the reuse of smaller parts and components. When assets cannot be (directly) reused, they are refurbished or remanufactured by GARS. Equipment is reconditioned, tested, and certified using rigorous processes and original manufacturing standards, or it is rebuilt to meet specific client requirements. This practice reduces the impact of products on the environment by extending the life of existing IT equipment and eliminating the need to manufacture new products.
Since 2002, IBM’s GARS has:
- Processed over 1.09 billion pounds of machines, parts and material,
- Harvested and sold over 44.4 million parts, and
- Processed and sold more than 3,900 rebuilt mainframes.
Only after all refurbishment and reuse opportunities are exhausted will the remaining fractions be sent for certified recycling and recovery operations. These operations help IBM win back valuable materials that can be used again for the production of new parts and components.