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Panasonic Study Shows UK Businesses Struggling with Sustainable Mobile Computing Strategies

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As rapidly changing requirements force half to switch their mobile computing devices before they are two years old, UK businesses are struggling to implement sustainable mobile computing strategies.

Recently, Panasonic Mobile Solutions Business, a unit of Panasonic System Communications Company Europe (PSCEU) headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, released its independent study of 772 IT decision makers in the UK, Germany and Sweden who examined the importance of sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices in the purchase, operation and disposal of their mobile computing devices.

“Although there is a clear desire to do more, business pressures appear to be preventing IT decision makers from taking a more holistic look at their mobile computing strategy and considering sustainable best practices,” Jan Kaempfer, head of marketing at Panasonic Business, said in a statement.

“The latest generation of devices can be repurposed easily by the user in the field providing the opportunity for devices to be reconfigured for different uses, multiple times across the life of the device. This type of breakthrough design and technology will enable businesses to handle rapidly changing requirements and help to encourage a more sustainable mobile computing strategy.”

The study named, From Renew to Reuse: The Mobile Computing Sustainability Challenge, indicated that UK businesses are struggling to implement sustainable mobile computing strategies as rapidly changing requirements are forcing businesses to change their devices every 1-2 years (50%) and 3-4 years (44%).

“We wanted to understand how important environmental factors were to European businesses when buying notebooks, laptops and handheld devices,” says Daniel Creasey, UK marketing manager at Panasonic TOUGHBOOK, Mobile Solutions Business Division – Europe. “This research looks at the importance of sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices to businesses when they purchase, use and dispose of their mobile computing devices.”

The independent research was commissioned by Panasonic and carried out by Opinion Matters. It surveyed companies of more than 50 employees that use laptops, tablets and handheld devices. The businesses spanned all industry sectors.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Less than half of those surveyed said they evaluated their devices on the basis of sustainability or environmental impact before purchase.
  • Beyond regular maintenance (57%), less than half were doing anything proactive to prolong the life of their devices during operation, such as sending information or providing training to users about how to look after the devices.
  • More than half (54%) do not regularly repurpose devices for a secondary use in their business.
  • At end of life, more than a quarter (26%) admitted their organization had just disposed of devices. Almost half (49%) have taken part in return schemes and 67% have sold to a secondary market.
  • Security remains the main priority at end of life with 51% saying their chief concern was wiping clean all device data. An environmentally-friendly recycling process was a concern for just 40% of respondents.

“We are promoting the findings to our customers and the wider business community to raise the issue of sustainability in mobile computing,” says Creasey.

Panasonic’s TOUGHBOOK 55 can be repurposed by the user in the field providing the opportunity for devices to be reconfigured for different uses, multiple times across the life of the device.

“This type of breakthrough design and technology will enable businesses to handle rapidly changing requirements and help to encourage a more sustainable mobile computing strategy,” says Creasey. “We are also working with a technology analyst to publish a check list for businesses to assess their sustainable mobile computing strategies and provide advice on how to continue to improve sustainable practices. We expect this to be published next year.”

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