How the circular economy model will renew the industry

One-On-One with Aidin Aghamiri, CEO, ITRenew

With the focus on being greener and more sustainable not subsiding soon, we bring you an exclusive interview with ITRenew’s CEO Aidin Aghamiri conducted by InterGlobix Magazine Founder and Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Bedi.

Aghamiri is a Circular Data Center pioneer who had the vision to make ITRenew the leader in the field by delivering the groundbreaking hardware, services and business models required for widespread adoption. He has transformed industry attitudes about sustainability and data center economics on a global scale via a strategy best summed up in his personal motto: “refuse to settle for a world that pits economic success against social good” Ð which became ITRenew’s mission statement. In addition to being the world’s leading hyperscale decommissioning provider, in 2019 the company introduced Sesame, the industry’s first truly circular family of integrated rack-scale solutions.

What does circular economy mean? What role does ITRenew play in promoting the circular economy model within the data center industry?

Technological progress is essential to long-term growth, but too often it comes with a heavy cost. The unfortunate legacy of the linear model is to extract resources from the Earth, use them to manufacture new products from scratch and then dispose of those products when something marginally better comes alongÑa vicious cycle that’s often summed up as “takeÐmakeÐwaste.” Every stage of that cycle is inherently unsustainable.

By contrast, circular economic models look to repurpose existing materials and transform them to extend their useful life. Instead of taking costly, invasive resource extraction as its starting point, the circular approach picks up where linear models leave off. It capitalizes on the utility, value and untapped potential of goods previously dismissed as waste.

ITRenew is demonstrating the viability of the circular economy in the data center industry. Our Sesame by ITRenew solutions take decommissioned hardware from global hyperscalers and re-engineer it into cost-effective, energy-efficient, performance- and use-optimized gear. Along with creating second lives for some of the most advanced data center technology on the planet, that’s making it possible for everyone from startups to global enterprises to participate in and benefit from the circular economy.

ITRenew Decom Facility

With our ever-increasing dependency on digital infrastructure, what has been the biggest challenge/opportunity for tech companies in dealing with the pandemic?

The pandemic’s challenges and opportunities are two sides of the same coin. Global COVID-driven trends like the shift to hybrid work and supply-chain issues have exposed the fragility of systems we long took for granted. Resiliency, scalability and accelerated digital transformation have become the watchwords for businesses everywhere.

At the same time, those businesses are also feeling an acute economic pinch and the urgency of the climate crisis. So while we’re currently seeing an even greater demand for the expansion of digital infrastructure, we’re also seeing heightened consciousness around ESG (environmental, social, governance) issues and the manifold benefits of adopting sustainable practices and solutions. That’s created this perfect storm where all these dynamics are colliding, resulting in a widespread need and a genuine desire to do things better than we did prior to 2020. In the tech industry, that’s going to take the form of reliable, sustainable, scalable infrastructure.

How do you incorporate sustainability into your products/services?

Sustainability can’t be separated from ITRenew. We’ve been a sustainability company at heart ever since we started as a family-run hardware recycling business operating out of a California garage more than two decades ago. Today, as a multi-national enterprise, our circular economic models, closed-loop supply chains and sustainable tech enable us, our customers, industry partners and the broader data center ecosystem to reach aggressive financial growth and decarbonization targets.

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