October 20, 2022
From Guardian Data Destruction’s inception in 2006 and long before Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) processes and initiatives were a hot trend, ethical treatment of data, people, and our planet was woven into the fabric of our organization.
Our primary function is the protection of data. By delivering the highest level of service, security and compliance to our ITADs, VARS and their clients, we improve corporate ESG outcomes: reduced consumption, reduced eWaste, asset reuse and donation, extended IT product lifecycles through repair and, at end-of-life, the best in recycling and disposition best practices.
As Guardians in name and nature, caring for our clients, staff, communities and the environment is a natural part of our day-to-day work practices and habits.
The E: Environmental
As a vendor that is often positioned at the terminus of the IT lifecycle, Guardian is committed to reducing our carbon footprint through recycling, reusing and zero-waste initiatives. We work with clients to prevent a generation of waste by designing custom programs, emphasizing smart, reuse strategies and selecting ethical partners to minimize unnecessary and negligent waste.
- Our inbound cardboard boxes serve a secondary, useful life as a perforated packing material. Combined with recycled paper cushions, we’re eliminating bubble wrap – a plastic packing resource that is rarely recycled or reused.
- With 23 service hubs covering North America for onsite data destruction, sustainable fleet management is integral to our service contracts. Travel distance, fuel consumption and emissions of our Guardian fleet are tracked and reported to improve efficiency routing resulting in reduced fuel consumption and vehicle wear and tear. Daily pre-trip maintenance checks (fuels, fluids, tires, tire pressure, general condition and lights) by each driver are required. All Guardian Class 2 trucks follow EPA regulations by using Diesel Exhaust Fluid (“DEF” liquid) to reduce nitrogen oxides emitted into the air.
- Guardian has a strict and tracked “no idling policy” for parked trucks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- As a member of ASCDI (The Association of Service and Computer Dealers and the North American Association of Telecom Dealers), we promoted and supported the “Right to Repair” movement. The recently-passed Federal legislation will lead to longer product life and a reduced waste stream by cutting repair costs for older IT equipment.
- The Guardian Self-pack and Ship Box program provides a responsible and trackable method for customer employees to return all company-issued IT equipment. The systematic, highly flexible program, keeps reusable IT assets out of landfills and prevents risk of unauthorized users or a data breach.
- 100% of our office copy paper, in a rainbow of colors, is pulled from end-of-life and lease return printers and copiers before the devices are recycled, donated or returned.
- We believe in second lives. Guardian resident artists have created 3D sculptures and 2D media artwork using cables, hard drives, monitor stands and more “scrap” pulled directly from our warehouse recycling-bound bins.
- Our downstream recycling vendors must be either e-Stewards or R2 Certified. Our internal compliance department audits and validates their certifications and practices.
- Our no-cost Earth Day “Shred Fest” events are available to our partners, community organizations, their customers, employees and families. This earth-friendly event ensures (1) data security by shredding hard drives and (2) ethical recycling of the shred and IT hardware (laptops, desktops, monitors, printers, etc.) that is dropped off. These shred events promote green earth initiatives, prevent the risk of data-driven criminal activities and offer high community value.
The S: Social
The “Guardian Way” is a philosophy based on fairness, integrity, ethics and humanity. The #GuardianFamily extends beyond our immediate families: it includes Mother Earth, our employees and their families, our clients and their clients, and our communities and industry organizations that promote these qualities. The #GuardianFamily hashtag is a symbol of our commitment to creating long-term and beneficial connections. We’re proud of the small and big efforts that make Guardian a workfamily and not just work:
- Our Core Values, imprinted at every company meeting and posted in common spaces, reflect our commitment to customers, integrity and employees.
- Advanced education and industry-related certifications including CDL licensing and CompTIA, a national IT educational non-profit, are open and available to all employees.
- Guardian provides a daily, home-cooked lunch to every onsite employee and guest. Our open kitchen is stocked with healthy snacks and refreshments that are available to all.
- We hire and promote from within the Guardian organization and we offer referral fees to employees who lead us to new hires.
- Our on-premise gym is open to all employees, and we encourage everyone to utilize the services of our professional health trainer who is onsite two days a week.
- We support community-based programs, like LaptopUpcycle.org, with IT donations of laptops and laptop bags that are distributed to low-income students without computers.
- As part of community outreach, we’ve organized and participated in events to feed first responders, collecting non-perishable donations for food banks, supported our local medical center with employee-based giving campaigns and have a commitment to supporting 9-11 fundraising efforts for first responder families.
- Our #GuardianFamily commitment extends to our national workforce. We offer emergency funds and resources for natural disasters; summer employment and internship programs for students and children; ongoing knowledge and greater technical training to our employees interested in better opportunities and rising within the company.
- We are supporters of technical training institutions including Eastwick College, Lincoln Tech, Felician College and county trade schools. We hire from these programs and provide rotating warehouse-based technician positions that fulfill internship graduation requirements.
- We reward employees for the extra mile, consistent work and contributions above and beyond. In addition to our annual recognition awards, our company trivia rewards and customer compliment rewards, we surprise our national team with bonuses and unscheduled half and full fully-paid “mental health days” to spend time with family and regroup.
- We believe that team building through time together and fun is intrinsic to our culture and success. Our annual “all-hands” company meeting focuses on training, company updates, employee recognition and awards always includes a family-inclusive fun event. The most recent company meetings concluded with an evening at the American Dream Mall’s amusement park. Throughout the rest of the year, we plan #GuardianFamily events including paintball Saturdays, professional sporting events, fishing trips, holiday BBQs and seafood boils.
- Our downstream recycling vendors are either e-Stewards or R2 Certified. Our compliance department audits and validates their certifications and practices.
The G: Governance
Governance is essential to the electronic data destruction business. As we shred hard drives, erase servers or move IT equipment and live data centers, Guardian is vigilant about security compliance and cognizant of risk.
Our reputation and our business depend upon the trust our clients have in our services.
- Guardian successfully spearheaded a change in New Jersey law to enable onsite hard drive shredding for NAID AAA Certified companies. As the last state to permit onsite hard drive data destruction, the new regulation increased the level of data security for data-bearing devices by reducing in-transit opportunities for theft and bad actors.
- All Guardian services are based on written, enforced processes that adhere to NIST, DOD and i-SIGMA standards and guidelines.
- We have a 10-year record of zero NAID AAA certification infractions including annual, unscheduled site inspections.
- Guardian data-handling employees must pass background checks and random drug testing.
- Employees are OSHA trained on safety processes including when and how to use company-supplied PPE to protect their health.
- Employees are provided with annual specific process training to ensure consistency and quality of services onsite and offsite.
- As a veteran of data destruction best practices and experience with the Fortune 500, Founder and President Glenn Laga has held leadership roles in industry organizations such as NAID (now i-SIGMA) and is a frequent industry conference speaker for i-SIGMA, IAITAM and ASCDI. His goals are (1) to migrate and adapt privacy and compliance practices from traditional paper records to electronic and (2) to educate about the damaging risks and damages resulting from improper or negligent data.
We know that ESG is an adapting framework for businesses that highlight social, environmental and integrity-based models. And we’re proud to be a leader in promoting care and responsibility while delivering the best in data destruction, IT packing and logistics and enterprise data center services.
With ESG initiatives as the first step, we see ESG as an opportunity to be better, do better and act better.
We invite you to talk to us about how Guardian implements ESG initiatives, and we accept any challenge, small or significant, for improvement. Whether you’re a partner, processor or customer, we want you to be confident that you’re working with the best.
For questions or inquiries, please contact Guardian Data Destruction’s ESG Coordinator, Michelle Keegan.