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How Android Enterprise can help businesses reduce e-waste

An illustrated GIF of a smartphone sitting on a planet surrounded by trees. Text appears, including “Build tomorrow sustainably” and “Android work profile, reduce the need for more work devices.”

Over 5 billion phones were thrown away in 2022. Laid end to end, that’s enough to circle the Earth more than 15 times. Global electronic waste (or e-waste) is a growing challenge, with over 61 million metric tons of e-waste expected by the end of 2023 — equivalent to the weight of 168 Empire State Buildings.

Business leaders are prioritizing sustainability efforts like cutting down on e-waste, with many looking into circular economy practices — which focus on creating long-lasting, versatile products — and more than a third committing to net-zero targets by 2050. It’s a positive business move, too: Companies with stronger sustainability practices have a 21% higher earnings margin.

Businesses need creative and reliable solutions to turn their sustainability commitments into action. Android Enterprise’s work profile feature can help reduce their demand for new devices without sacrificing productivity and security.

Sustainable benefits of a BYOD strategy

These days, more businesses are embracing the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) deployment strategy, allowing employees to utilize their devices for both work and personal use. And there could be big sustainability benefits: By limiting secondary corporate devices, businesses can significantly reduce their e-waste.

They can also avoid emissions from device production and save energy from charging devices over their lifetime. In fact, based on estimates from our recent report with a third-party research partner, implementing a BYOD strategy for a 10,000-person workforce that needs one device per employee can save enough energy to power the average American household for nearly two years. Plus, it’s cost effective: With secure BYOD, companies can reduce spend on corporate hardware and management by up to 92% in the first year alone.

An illustration of two buildings with a blue sky and the text: “10,000 personal devices enabled for work can save enough energy to power the average American household for nearly two years.”

Fewer devices with Android work profile

But enabling personal devices for work can get complicated when it comes to separating and protecting data. Work profile from Android Enterprise allows businesses to set up separate work and personal profiles on a single Android device, giving IT teams control over corporate data while respecting employee privacy.

Since its launch in Android 5, the work profile feature has helped businesses easily manage and deploy devices. IT teams can get peace of mind knowing that the partitioned work profile has the right business apps installed based on their own managed policies and controls. Meanwhile, employees know they have full control and privacy over their personal apps while limiting security risks for their organization. The personal and work profiles even have separate storage areas to secure important files and data. And if an employee ever leaves the company or devices are lost, IT admins can wipe the work profile without impacting the device’s personal data.

An illustration of a Pixel 7 sitting on a hill surrounded by trees. The screen shows the work profile interface, highlighting a personal profile with various apps.

There’s no better time to put sustainable business practices into place than right now. And work profile is one of many ways we’re helping businesses make progress toward their sustainability goals.

Learn more about Android Enterprise and read about our environmental impact, including the benefits and cost savings of work profile, in our latest report.

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