Reusing instead of throwing away

December 18, 2020

Volkswagen Financial Services remain strongly committed to the sustainable use of resources. To this end, the Volkswagen Group's financial and mobility services provider has now collected 14,000 discarded 19- to 23-inch monitors and handed them over to Europe's largest non-profit IT company AfB social & green IT. The hardware is thus being given a second life.

AfB stands for "Work for people with disabilities" ("Arbeit für Menschen mit Behinderung"). The company, which is based in Düren in North Rhine-Westphalia, is dedicated to the concept of taking over decommissioned monitors, PCs, laptops and business cell phones from companies and refurbishing the devices for remarketing and reuse. Apart from reducing electronic waste, AfB is also committed to the inclusion of employees with disabilities and creates jobs for them. The positive environmental impact of recycling monitors is impressive: Volkswagen Financial Services saved around 109,000 kilograms of raw materials (metals and minerals calculated in iron equivalents), 107,000 kilograms of greenhouse gases (converted to CO₂ equivalents) and 370,000 kilowatt hours of energy by handing over the monitors they took out of service. "Through the cooperation between our companies, Volkswagen Financial Services are conserving resources and also sponsoring three inclusive workplaces. We would like to thank them for this," says Jurij Deperschmidt, the branch manager of AfB social & green IT in Hannover. What's more, he adds, the proceeds from refurbishing and remarketing the unneeded hardware has also made it possible to hire new employees with severe disabilities and to continue employing current employees.


The partnership continues

The replacement of the 14,000 monitors at VW FS AG is not the end of the story. In the coming months, around 2,000 monitors will also be upgraded as part of the reorganization of external office workplaces. In addition, preparations are currently underway to hand over almost 700 company cell phones and tablets whose operating systems can no longer be updated to the latest version. These devices no longer meet security requirements and therefore cannot be further used by employees.

Mortimer Boehm, Digital Marketing Manager in the Digital Marketing & Research department, who initiated the donation of hardware taken out of service in collaboration with the Device Policy project, is enthusiastic about the benefits: "Normally, the devices would be destroyed because of the sensitive data they contain. Thanks to the cooperation with AfB, the data can be professionally and irrevocably erased and the functioning devices can be refurbished and reused. This not only protects the environment, the decommissioned and discarded hardware also benefits associations, clubs and institutions, for example." The high quality of AfB's data destruction has also been certified by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) and the technical inspectorate TÜV SÜD, among other authorities.

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