IT remarketing protects the environment and natural resources
New study for reliable measurement of environmental impact in collaboration with myclimate
In 2021, AfB processed more than 450,000 IT and mobile devices and remarketed 59% of them. Extending the life of these devices has enabled AfB to save 20,600 tonnes of natural raw materials and 130,300 MWh of primary energy when compared to the manufacturing process of new devices. 242 million liters less water was used and 33,900 tonnes less greenhouse gases were generated. In addition, it was possible to identify the magnitude of the impact on human health itself. See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for more information on each impact.
The basis for determining the environmental impact is a study by the non-profit organization for climate protection myclimate from 2021. It allows AfB to calculate the impact of IT remarketing on the environment and human health using specific key indicators. This form of environmental impact assessment is unique.
What do the key indicator stand for?
Your used IT equipment helps to create and maintain jobs for people with disabilities at AfB.
By remarketing of used IT devices, fewer raw materials need to be mined for the manufacturing process 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 defined in relation to its availability.
For comparability, all metals and minerals are reported in iron equivalents (kg iron-equiv.). This is based on a life cycle assessment study conducted by TU Berlin in 2013.
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. Human Toxicity is reported in 1.4-dichlorobenzene equivalents (t 1.4-DB-equiv.).
For example, for a smartphone, extending its useful life from 3 to 4.5 years, results in a 45% reduction of human toxicity (for this device), because no new device had to be manufactured for that period of time.
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 its manufacturing to its 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 is needed in many manufacturing steps of a product. In many regions, the availability of water is threatened by its overuse, among other things. Water resource depletion is quantified here in liters and indicates the amount, that has been withdrawn from a water source 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 (where one has a 200 l filling capacity).
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 CO2 equivalents.
A saving of 1,000 kg CO2 equivalents corresponds to a journey of 4,900 km with a medium-class gasoline engine. To absorb 1,000 kg of CO2 equivalents, a beech tree must grow for approximately 80 years.
Water is a valuable resource for life on our planet, which is endangered by toxic substances, among other things. Freshwater and seawater eco-toxicity (Water eco-toxicity) refers to the effects on freshwater or seawater ecosystems as a result of the emissions of toxic substances to air, water and soil. This key indicator is quantified in 1.4-dichlorobenzene equivalent/kg emission (1.4-DB/kg).
CSR certificate for AfB partners
Based on the number of equipment handed over to our company and the extent of its remarketing, we will issue a certificate to our IT partners on their ecological and social benefits for society.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the new CSR certificate
The CSR certificate is primarily used to demonstrate the social-ecological impact of IT remarketing. Before we can provide you with these key indicators, we must first perform data erasure on your IT devices and test, which devices are functional/repairable and which are intended for recycling or as spare parts. Only then can we consider and present the corresponding devices in your CSR certificate. The date when the devices have been fully tested, can slip into the following year, if a collection takes place at the end of the year. The devices will then be listed in the subsequent certificate.
The "iron equivalents (iron-equiv.)" unit does not refer to the net weight of IT equiment. A certain amount of different metals and minerals is used in the production of a device, e.g. a smartphone. Since only a certain total amount is accessible worldwide for each of these raw materials, each mining process leaves less available residual quantity for the future. In addition to the amount used in a smartphone, a portion is also lost during mining and manufacturing. The available resources vary depending on the type of metal or mineral. For example, a smartphone consists of about 11mg of palladium and about 2.7g of iron. Since the world's accessible iron resources (about 170 billion tons) far exceed the accessible palladium resources (about 80,000 tons), mining 11mg of palladium has a greater effect than mining 2.7g of iron. If a smartphone is reused, neither palladium nor iron needs to be mined and processed. These non-mined quantities are saved and resources are conserved. To standardize these savings, we show all metals and minerals in terms of their globally available resources compared to iron.
The basis for the definition of the iron equivalent unit of our impact measurement is a study conducted by the TU Berlin in 2013.
The social and ecological parameters of our CSR certificate are added values for your internal and external communication. We will support you in your media-effective communication!
Did you 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, 113.65 kg of CO2 equiv. will be saved, this corresponds to a saving of 66% CO2 equiv.!
AfB-Geschäftsführer Daniel Büchle
Thanks a lot!
"We show, that sustainability, inclusion and quality go hand in hand together. It's great, that you and all of our partners put your trust in us and make our work possible."
Managing Director AfB gGmbH
The partnership with AfB - a contribution to seven SDGs
As an IT partner of AfB, you contribute 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 usage 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.
Ensuring equal opportunities is linked to an access to good learning tools and materials for the students. 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.
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.
Let us know, how we can help!
AfB Slovakia s.r.o.
Strojárenská 1C 917 02
Tel.: +421 33 553 2222