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Product end-of-life management

As part of its product end-of-life management (PELM) activities, IBM began offering product takeback programs for clients in Europe in 1989 and has extended and enhanced these activities over the years. Today, IBM's Global Asset Recovery Services (GARS) is responsible for remarketing pre-owned and end-of-lease IBM assets externally, reutilizing and redeploying assets internally, and providing an environmentally responsible process for the disposal of scrap IT equipment. 

When assets cannot be directly reused, they are remanufactured or refurbished using rigorous processes and original manufacturing standards. Assets may also be reconfigured to meet specific client requirements. Parts are harvested for reutilization, as well as sold externally. These practices extend the life of IT equipment and reduce the need to manufacture new products. After all reuse and remarketing opportunities are exhausted, remaining components are sent for materials recovery and recycling.

IBM's voluntary environmental goal is to reuse or recycle end-of-life products such that the amount of product waste sent by our operations to landfills or to incineration for treatment does not exceed a combined 3% by weight of the total amount processed.

In 2023, we processed approximately 12,400 metric tons (mt) of end-of-life products and product scrap from 63 countries, with 96.8% (by weight) resold, reused, or sent for recycling, 2.5% sent to waste-to-energy processes, and 0.7% sent to landfills or for incineration for final disposition. This includes both end-of-life products generated by IBM and its clients.

IBM established its corporate-wide requirement for the environmental evaluations of the company's PELM suppliers in 1991, an expansion of our supplier environmental evaluation program introduced in 1972. We evaluate these suppliers prior to doing business with them and every three years thereafter. Our objective is to use only suppliers that have a strong focus on environmental management, including complying with laws and regulations as well as sound management practices. 

Since we began reporting on product disposal in 1995, IBM has processed 1.14 million mt (2.51 billion pounds) of products and product waste worldwide.

To learn more about IBM's requirements for PELM suppliers, visit:

Supply chain environmental requirements
Information for recyclers under the WEEE Directive

Upon request, and in accordance with Article 15 of the EU Directive 2012/19/EU on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) and its respective transpositions into national law of the EU Member States, IBM will provide information to recyclers in accordance with the 'EICTA, CECED, AeA and EERA Joint Position Guidance on Implementing Article 15 of Directive 2012/19/EU Concerning Information for Treatment Facilities.'

Information for recyclers (not customers)
Product take back programs

Many jurisdictions (countries, states, provinces, and/or cities) require manufacturers to create programs for no-charge product recycling for certain electronic equipment (e.g., personal computers, computer monitors and related accessories, etc.) that they have manufactured and sold.

IBM participates in a variety of take back for recycling programs for covered products, batteries or packaging which vary depending on local regulations. For more information on collection and recycling in your area, visit:

IBM Product Take Back Programs
Cryptographic coprocessor card return program

IBM has established a program for the return of certain IBM Cryptographic Coprocessor Cards. The mercury information sheet below includes information about this program and the part numbers of the cards for which the program is applicable. Contact IBM at prodinfo@us.ibm.com for more information on the return of these cards.

Mercury Information Sheet
Printer supplies return program

Information about the Ricoh Printer Supplies Return Program can be found on the Ricoh Resource Smart Recycling website. 

Ricoh Resource Smart Recycling