Impact AfB Group 2020 Through IT remarketing, the AfB Group makes a demonstrable contribution to environmental protection, resource conservation, inclusion and digital education.

IT Remarketing Saves the Environment and Resources

New study for reliable impact measurement by myclimate

In 2020, AfB processed more than 472,000 IT and mobile devices, remarketing 68% of them. The resulting extension of useful life enabled AfB to save 24,700 tons of raw materials and 170,400 MWh of energy compared to new production. 300 million liters less water was used and 43,200 tons less greenhouse gases were emitted. In addition, the impact on human health can be measured. More information on the individual key figures can be found in the FAQ below.

The basis for determining the environmental impact is a study by the non-profit climate protection organization myclimate from 2021, which enables AfB to calculate the effect of IT remarketing on the environment and on human health using concrete key figures. This is unique in this form. Christoph Teusch spoke with myclimate about the new life cycle assessment study:


3 questions to Stefan Baumeister, Managing Director of myclimate:

  1. Why is transparency so important when we talk about sustainability and IT?
  2. Why is it worth considering other environmental impacts besides CO2?
  3. How can AfB's IT partners benefit from the key figures?

What's behind the key figures?

Icon Inklusion Work places for people with disabilities

Your used IT devices help create and maintain jobs for people with disabilities at AfB.

Saved raw materials

By reusing used IT devices, fewer raw materials are mined for the production of new devices. The globally available metal and mineral reserves (e.g. palladium, iron) vary greatly, which is why the consumption of a metal is set in relation to its availability.

For comparability, all metals and minerals are reported in iron equivalents (kg Fe-eq.) as before. This is based on a life cycle assessment study conducted by TU Berlin in 2013.

Human toxicity

Humans are exposed to a variety of environmental pollutants on a daily basis. Human toxicity measures the effects on or damage to human health. This damage can be caused by substances (e.g., nitrogen oxides) that enter the air, soil, and water. It is reported in 1.4-dichlorobenzene equivalents (t 1.4-DB-eq.) For example, for a smartphone, extending its useful life from 3 to 4.5 years results in a 45% reduction because no new device had to be manufactured for that period.

Primary energy expenditure

Primary energy consumption reflects the demand for primary energy resources (crude oil, hard coal, hydropower, etc.) of a product over its entire life cycle from manufacture to disposal. Primary energies are required to provide the final energy (fuels, electricity, etc.). The indicator is quantified here in the unit kWh. A saving of 1,000 kWh corresponds to one third of the annual electricity demand of a 2-person household in a single-family house.

Water consumption

Water is needed in many processing steps along the life cycle of a product. In many regions, the availability of water is threatened by overuse, among other things. Water resource depletion is quantified here in liters and indicates the amount that has been withdrawn from a catchment area. The AWARE method used is based on quantifying the amount of water left available in an area after the demands of humans and aquatic ecosystems have been met. A saving of 1,000 liters corresponds to 5 filled bathtubs (200 l filling capacity).

Icon CO2-Einsparung Greenhouse gas emissions (climate change)

Greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities contribute to the warming of the earth's atmosphere and thus to climate change. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) is used as an indicator. For comparability, all greenhouse gas emissions are converted to CO2e. A saving of 1,000 kg CO2e corresponds to a journey of 4,900 km with a medium-class gasoline engine. To absorb 1,000 kg of CO2e, a beech tree must grow for approximately 80 years. Source: Tagesschau 

Water eco-toxicity

Water is a valuable resource for life on the planet, which is endangered by toxic substances, among other things. Freshwater and marine water ecotoxicity (Water ecotoxicity) refers to the effects on freshwater or seawater ecosystems as a result of the emission of toxic substances to air, water and soil. Characterization factors are expressed as 1.4-dichlorobenzene equivalent/kg emission (1.4-DB/kg).

CSR certificate for AfB partners

We show our IT partners the concrete environmental and social impact based on their respective device numbers and remarketing rates.

Frequently asked questions about the new CSR certificate

Why have the environmental impacts been updated in the CSR certificate as of 2021?
How can I get a CSR certificate as an AfB IT partner?
IT devices were collected from AfB at the end of the year. Why are these not shown in the CSR certificate?
What do iron equivalents stand for?
What can I do with the CSR certificate afterwards?
Graphic CO2 savings with refurbishment of a notebook.

Did you already know?

Resource consumption and CO2 emissions are closely linked. If a notebook recycled by AfB is used for a total of 7.5 years instead of 4.5 years, 113.65kg of CO2e are saved. This corresponds to a saving of 66%!

AfB Managing Director Daniel Büchle

Thanks a lot!

"We show that sustainability, inclusion and quality are possible. It's great that you and all our partners put your trust in us and make our work possible."

Daniel Büchle Managing Director AfB gGmbH

The partnership with AfB - a contribution to seven SDGs

As an IT partner of AfB, you contribute with us to the fulfillment of seven UN Sustainable Development Goals. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were developed by the United Nations to jointly address societal challenges until 2030.

Through an IT partnership with AfB, you make a valuable contribution to the fulfillment of seven SDGs.

By reusing IT devices, water use and the impact on water ecosystems due to the emission of toxic substances is reduced.

By creating inclusive workplaces, AfB promotes the social and economic inclusion as well as the self-determination of people with disabilities.

Reuse and recycling of IT devices leads to savings in emissions, raw materials and energy and thus contributes to climate protection.

Ensuring equal opportunities is linked to an access to good learning tools. AfB supports educational projects worldwide by providing IT devices.

IT remarketing contributes to the sustainable extraction of raw materials and the reduction of e-waste landfills in the Global South.

AfB helps reduce resource consumption, emissions and e-waste by reusing IT hardware.

The cooperation between AfB and IT partners significantly supports the achievement of social and environmental goals.

Support for your CSR reporting

We will gladly support you in the compilation of sustainability reports. Whether you report according to CDP, DNK, GRI or the Global Compact, we have already developed text templates and instructions for each standard so that you can easily include the partnership with us and thus your contribution to environmental and social sustainability in your sustainability report.

CSR download     

Your contact person

Christoph-Daniel Teusch
CR Manager


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