New analysis: how IT refurbishing improves environmental and social values

Resources saved in 2022.

A graphic describing the amount of resources AfB Slovakia and AfB Group were able to save in 2022.


  • In 2022, AfB social & green IT refurbished about 528 000 devices
  • Compared to new production, 44 700 tonnes of  CO2, 318 million liters of water, 170 800 Mwh of primary energy and 22 800 tonnes of raw materials and other resources were saved
  • Social commitment: almost half of AfB's employees have a disability

AfB presents its latest impact measurement, which measures the social and environmental impact of IT refurbishing by Europe's largest non-profit IT company. Based on a scientific study conducted by the climate protection organization myclimate in 2021, AfB has significantly increased its impact in 2022 compared to the previous year: the inclusion company processed more about 528,000 used IT and mobile devices and was able to remarket 64 percent of them. 

Daniel Büchle, who is responsible for production and sales at AfB gGmbH in Germany, confirms an increasing interest among companies in giving used and no longer needed hardware a second life cycle. "During the pandemic period, many companies kept the hardware to equip their employees in the home office. We are all the more pleased with the high number and, above all, the quality of the devices we have now been able to take over." The growing trend was also confirmed by the Chief Operating Officer of AfB Slovakia s.r.o. Dávid Mick: "It seems that last year our partners have already managed to overcome the period of uncertainty and the number of pickups has started to increase again. However, this is also largely influenced by the fact that more and more companies are trying to do business in a socially responsible and sustainable way in our country."

In its impact measurement, AfB records KPIs on raw materials, greenhouse gases, water and energy, as well as figures on harmful effects on the environment and health.

Equivalence values are used for better comparison: greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, etc. are converted into CO2 equivalents (CO2-equ for short), raw materials such as metals and minerals are recorded in iron equivalents, toxicities - i.e. harmful effects on the environment and health, are measured in paradichlorobenzene equivalents (1.4-DB-equ for short). The fact that the refurbishment process also requires resources such as energy or spare parts is already taken into account in the myclimate study. It proves that the extension of useful life through IT refurbishment has a clear ecological added value.

The resource savings and pollutant reductions achieved by AfB in 2022 can be seen in a graphic at this link.

AfB Slovakia also contributed to the above figures

We do not want to artificially inflate the numbers, so only devices from our partners are listed in the graphic. In addition, our colleagues at AfB Slovakia processed almost 9000 more devices as part of the assistance to our German and Austrian colleagues. The amount of saved natural resources and reduced pollutants achieved by AfB Slovakia s.r.o. in 2022 is available at this link.

AfB has remarketed two out of three used devices

Before customers can purchase refurbished hardware in AfB stores, the business devices from companies such as Siemens, Deutsche Telekom IT Solutions or Slovenská sporiteľňa go through a certified process at AfB. AfB collects the devices with its own fleet of vehicles. After goods receipt and detailed recording, data on the devices is deleted in an audit-proof and irrevocable manner. All devices are then thoroughly checked and, if necessary, repaired. If components such as hard disks or RAM need to be replaced, AfB uses spare parts from old equipment that can no longer be used as far as possible. This also keeps the consumption of resources by the repair as low as possible. After the new operating system is installed, all devices receive a thorough cleaning and are ready for use again.

Inclusion company AfB continues to grow

In addition to its positive ecological balance, AfB is also committed to social growth. The company's declared goal is to create 500 jobs for people with disabilities that are subject to social insurance contributions. AfB came a good deal closer to achieving this goal again last year.

"In 2022, we created 50 new inclusive jobs. And I am personally particularly pleased when my colleagues are proud of the fact that they are making an important contribution to greater environmental sustainability with their daily work," says a delighted Managing Director and HR Manager Yvonne Cvilak. "The fact that we can do this is thanks to our new and long-standing IT partners, who let us use their IT equipment. That's sustainability in action in the sense of the United Nations."

"Our main goal in Slovakia was to keep the jobs created," said the managing director of AfB Slovakia s.r.o. Marek Antoňák. "Fortunately, we have succeeded in this and I can already confirm that in 2023 our team will grow with new colleagues."