Product recycling programs

Product end-of-life management programs

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 percent by weight of the total amount processed.

In 2020, IBM processed more than 16,900 metric tons of end-of-life products and product waste, with 96.5 percent (by weight) reused, resold or recycled, 3.0 percent sent to waste-to-energy for final disposition, and 0.5 percent sent directly to landfills or incineration for treatment.

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. More about IBM's requirements for our PELM suppliers may be found on our Environmental evaluations of suppliers webpage.

Over the last 25 years since IBM began reporting these results in our annual environmental reports, IBM global operations have processed 1.1 million metric tons of product and product waste (2.4 billion pounds).

For more information, visit Other product recycling information.

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.' For more, please visit Information for recyclers (not customers).

Product take back programs

WEEE, Batteries, Packaging and Global Asset Recovery Services

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 the IBM Product Take Back Programs website.

Printer Supplies Return Program

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