New records in ecological and social impact prove IT-refurbishing is on the rise

We significantly increased our social and ecological impact to new record figures within one year. The number of processed devices has risen to 528,000 in 2022. IT refurbishing is becoming increasingly popular.

Graphic with icons that symbolize saved resources and emissions through IT-Refurbishing. Text: IT-Refurbishing & Remarketing - Impact AfB-Group"

We measure our social and ecological impact anually. Graphic: AfB.

Refurbishing and remarketing of used IT devices is trending

From a niche topic to a formula for success: IT refurbishing, the refurbishing and remarketing of used IT devices such as notebooks or smartphones is increasingly accepted and spreading. This is also shown by our new impact figures.

For 18 years, AfB has been taking over used corporate IT from companies, banks, insurance companies or organisations in order to return it to the market after professional data deletion and processing.

New record figures for AfB social & green IT

Daniel Büchle, Managing Director at AfB, who is among other things responsible for sustainability confirms an increasing interest on the part of companies and public authorities in giving used and no longer needed IT and mobile devices a second life cycle.

"Fortunately, more and more people are realising how enormously important it is for climate protection and resource conservation to keep items such as IT hardware in circulation for as long as possible. That's why more and more companies and public authorities are relying on our IT refurbishment and the associated second use of their equipment in the private sector or at educational institutions. We are very pleased with the record year of 2022, in which we saved an additional amount of around 11,000 tonnes of CO2 through our activities compared to the previous year."

The remarketing quota has also risen to 64 %. We achieved this quota through professional cleaning, data deletion as well as profound refurbishment, for example by replacing hard drives, batteries or RAM. These parts come from our own spare parts warehouse, which is considered when measuring the environmental impact.

Significantly greater savings in emissions and raw materials

The high number of processed devices and the increased remarketing rate lead to new record values for saved emissions and raw materials - these are calculated in comparison to the new production of the same number of units.

In concrete terms, these are: 44,700 tonnes of CO2, 318 million litres of water, 170,800 MWh of primary energy and 22,800 tonnes of raw materials in iron equivalents.

These savings also lead to a considerable reduction in so-called toxicity, i.e. the pollutants to which humans and the environment are exposed: 229,000 tonnes of human toxicity and 416 megatonnes of ecotoxicity in 1.4 dB equivalents could thus be prevented by AfB in 2022 alone.

But where do the IT devices responsible for the record impact figures come from and why is the number rising?

More and more companies recognise IT refurbishing as a business case

Companies have long since realised that it is more advantageable for them to hand over their used company IT to a refurbisher like AfB than to simply put the equipment into electronic waste. "We offer companies two things," Daniel Büchle elaborates. "On the one hand, they generate additional revenue because we guarantee them attractive purchase revenues for their IT. On the other hand, we issue them with an annual impact certificate, in which we break down precisely how much raw material has been saved as a result of our partnership and how many pollutants and emissions have been avoided. The environmental impact is determined on the basis of a study by the non-profit climate protection organisation myclimate from 2021."

Many of the more than 1,600 IT partners from all sectors also use this impact certificate for their own sustainability communication.

Stricter laws and requirements, such as the Supply Chain Act, ensure that sustainable commitment also brings advantages on the capital market: investors are more likely to opt for companies with coherent and comprehensible ESG strategies that favour sustainability and human rights.

 

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