WV Technologies was awarded Organisation of the Year at the 2023 NAIDOC Canberra Awards on 1 July 2023, highlighting the valuable work across eWaste management, secure data decommissioning, and social impact from the Indigenous employment opportunities the business provides.
“As an indigenous-owned social enterprise, we are proud to be able to provide significant value to our customers across their ESG portfolio,” said Kurt Gruber, Co-CEO.
“Close to $450 million worth of hardware is again headed for landfill in Australia this year – representing around two-thirds of Australia’s IT equipment turnover, a third of hardware will be recycled and reused – however, much of this is not securely cleaned of its data. We are throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars in usable materials and swathes of personal identifying data and intellectual property,”
Management of the lifecycle of Information Technology equipment is becoming increasingly critical. According to the E-Product Stewardship in Australia report, some 511,000 tons of e-waste is produced annually, and only one-third of this is reused or recycled, resulting in $430 million in materials landing directly in landfill each year.
A recent report by Price Waterhouse Coopers highlights that most eWaste is not properly and securely cleaned of the data stored during its life. Data security is necessary throughout the entire information technology life cycle to mitigate data theft, corruption, and unauthorised access. At the end of its life, sensitive data on IT equipment can include personal identifying information and intellectual property.
In 2021, WV Technologies was the first company in Australia to be awarded NAID AAA certification for data sanitisation; the company has also received an endorsement from the Australian Government Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF) to undertake data destruction of Top Secret classified material.
“WV Technologies has invested heavily in data security,” said Kurt Gruber, Co-CEO at WV Technologies. “We are the first company to achieve NAID AAA certification for all mobile and plant-based sanitisation and destruction services, including the Australian Government PSPF endorsements for Top Secret.”
“It is our experience that corporate and government organisations seem to be more focused on the ‘front’ end of cybersecurity but have forgotten about the obvious risks associated with IT decommissioning and data destruction,” Kurt Gruber said. “It is like keeping your front door locked but leaving your back door open.”
“We provide an end-to-end service that enables government and business across the country to recycle their technology infrastructure responsibly, ensuring this is decommissioned at the highest possible security standard; and in addition, we provide this service as an indigenous social enterprise, fulfilling indigenous procurement targets, generating Indigenous employment opportunities and social impact.
“Independent sources, including the Centre for Social Impact and Australian Social Value Data Bank, have evaluated our social enterprise programs. These sources estimate an 8:1 return on investment and social and community returns of $25 million since we commenced,” said Gruber.