Crushed Hard Drives

Driving the circular economy for storage

The Circular Drive Initiative (CDI) is a partnership of global leaders in digital storage, data centers, sustainability, and blockchain collaborating to reduce e-waste by enabling, driving, and promoting the secure reuse of storage hardware

Steward Members

Segate Logo
Chia Network Logo
Western Digital
Micron
McDonough Innovation

Industry lead with the guidance of Bill McDonough

CDI was convened under the leadership of William McDonough, Chief Executive of McDonough Innovation and the renowned architect of Cradle to Cradle design and The Circular Economy, which brings circular design principles and reporting to data storage in the ICT industry.

“Much of the e-waste we see from hard drives today is driven by perceived risk and insufficient secondary markets for this technology, I am thrilled to welcome these founding members on board the initiative as we create a compelling global Circular Economy business case.”

William McDonough, Chief Executive, McDonough Innovation

Join Us

CDI welcomes storage vendors, hyperscale data centers, original equipment manufacturers, IT asset disposition, and anyone who wants to help make an impact. Please reach out for more information.

Our mission

Developing sustainable standards

Make the storage market more sustainable by developing and promoting standards, reporting, and best practices around circular business models

Increase reuse

Increase the rate of reuse, second and third uses, of storage devices. For example, solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs)

Avoid first-use destruction

Reduce the amount of physical destruction of storage devices at the end of first use, and quantify the reduction in e-waste and other environmental impacts

Rethink the ecosystem

Enable the broad ecosystem of drive reuse through CDI partners: decommissioning, media sanitization, verification, and sales channels

Impact and accountability

Strive for continuous improvement and quantify results

Industry education

Help companies reduce liability risks and make informed decisions in the data lifecycle that enable circularity and reuse without compromising security

About

Circular Drive Initiative

Who is CDI?

The Circular Drive Initiative (CDI) is a collaboration of global leaders in digital storage, data centers, sustainability, and blockchain in a joint effort to reduce e-waste by promoting and enabling the secure reuse of storage hardware. CDI was convened under the leadership of William McDonough, Chief Executive of McDonough Innovation and the renowned architect of Cradle to Cradle design and The Circular Economy, which brings circular design principles and reporting to data storage in the ICT industry. The ultimate goal is to facilitate the reuse of storage devices and reduce GHG emissions, e-waste, and other externalities.

What is CDI doing?

CDI is making the storage market more sustainable by developing and promoting standards, reporting, and best practices around circular business models. There is a large practice today around the physical destruction of storage devices at the end of first use, under the promise of preventing unauthorized access to data. There are robust security and media sanitization specifications in place that allow for the secure transfer of ownership of devices without the risk of private data being exposed.

Timeline

The CDI idea was convened in November 2021 and founding members started meeting in February of 2022. The organization was officially formed in the summer of 2022. CDI will be accepting new members to enable the broad ecosystem of drive reuse through CDI partners, including but not exclusive to decommissioning, media sanitization, verification, and sales channels

Frequently asked questions

What is CDI?
The Circular Drive Initiative (CDI) is a collaboration of global leaders in digital storage, data centers, sustainability, and blockchain in a joint effort to reduce e-waste by promoting and enabling the secure reuse of storage hardware
Where can I get CDI drives?
There are no CDI approved drives yet. In the future, CDI will list providers in the ecosystem that sell second-use and third-use storage devices. However, there are multiple resellers of recertified and used drives that are partners of our members that may be listed.
When can regular and associate members join?
CDI will begin regular and associate member registration after the first board meeting, which will happen early fall 2022
What is the circular economy?
Products are designed for their next use in mind, and when a user is done using the product they cycle through the next phase. Materials go through the highest value flow possible, by designing waste out of the system. Products that are no longer functioning can be broken down into raw materials that go back into manufacturing future products.
What is media sanitization and why is it important for CDI?
A process or method to render access to target data on storage media infeasible for a given level of effort. Purge media sanitization enables secure removal of data but keeps the device in a reusable state so that it can be reused.
What are the latest specifications around media sanitization?
IEEE P2883: IEEE Approved Draft Standard for Sanitizing Storage, in IEEE P2883/D18 was published in June 2022. This is the latest and most comprehensive industry standard for storage sanitization, encompassing and superseding NIST SP800-88, ISO/IEC 27040 and other standards. IEEE P2883 has a strong focus on circularity. The scope of IEEE P2883 covers all physical and logical locations that currently contain user data, used to contain user data (e.g., deallocated data, data reallocated because of media errors),could contain user data (e.g., overprovisioning, unused capacity, spare pools),are able to contain data that discloses information about user data (e.g., data that is usable to direct forensic analysis.
Should companies be following the NIST 800-88 document?
NIST SP800-88R1: This document from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) contains guidelines for media sanitization and storage security, but does not define requirements. It is a product of the US government and commonly referenced by the NSA, other standards and US companies, but many countries will not refer to US security standards.
Isn’t shredding a good way to prevent unauthorized access to storage?
Shredding was actually deprecated in the latest sanitization specification due to media density on the latest storage media, like hard disk drives. Small fragments of drives can actually still contain a lot of user data!