Refurbishment in the EU: AfB is a EUREFAS member

AfB has been a member of the European Refurbishment Association (EUREFAS) since spring 2022. Within this framework, AfB - as Europe's largest inclusion company in the IT sector - exerts influence on the refurbishment sector within the European Union. In particular, the topic of the circular economy and associated aspects such as the right to repair are to be promoted.

Photo: Thomas Kienzle

“More circular economy and resource conservation through IT refurbishment - these are the guiding principles of both AfB social & green IT and EUREFAS. We are therefore delighted to be part of this network, to meet like-minded people and to contribute our experience from 17 years of IT refurbishment in five European countries.”

Daniel Büchle, Managing Director AfB gGmbH.

Circular instead of linear: the advantages of IT circular economy

AfB is one of Germany's leading IT refurbishers with 19 locations in five European countries. With the secondary use of used company hardware, AfB actively promotes circular economy in the IT industry. If the product life span of laptops, smartphones, etc. is extended instead of ending early in the electronic waste, valuable raw materials such as rare-earth metals, water and electricity can be saved. In addition, emissions such as CO2 are significantly reduced. Substances that are toxic to humans or water, which are produced during the manufacture of new devices, are also avoided. The positive impact of extending the lifespan on both the environment and human health is shown by the life cycle assessment study conducted by the non-profit climate protection organisation myclimate in 2021, on the basis of which AfB can show the concrete savings of the 450,000 IT and mobile devices processed in 2021 alone: 43,200 tonnes of CO2, 242 million litres of water, 130,300 MWh of energy and 20,600 tonnes of raw materials were saved last year (compared to new production).

Use – Reuse – Recycle

At the end of the prdocut life span of an IT device, whether new or used, it should not be e-waste, but rather recycled. The Supply Chain Act or even the Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act promote responsible management. Nevertheless, e-waste is a global problem: according to the Global E-waste Monitor, only 17.4 per cent of a total of 53.6 million tonnes were properly recycled and documented in 2019. Materials such as gold, silver, platinum, copper, iron or rare-earth elements are often found in the avoidable "waste" - with an estimated value of 57 billion dollars. 

At AfB, the remarketing rate across all cooperations and product groups is around 60%. The remaining 30% is professionally separated and given to certified recycling companies for raw material recovery.


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