Life cycle assessment study by myclimate enables IT refurbisher AfB to comprehensively measure impact

How many resources can be saved by making IT devices such as notebooks, smartphones or PCs usable for a longer period of time through professional refurbishment? A new life cycle assessment study by the non-profit climate protection organisation myclimate gives the answer. It enables the IT refurbisher AfB to make a detailed evaluation of the social and ecological impact of its IT remarketing business model.

Since 2013, AfB has already been able to transparently report the savings in greenhouse gases (CO2-eq.), raw materials (iron-eq.) and energy consumption through IT refurbishment. "The new study now enables a much more comprehensive impact measurement that includes more indicators, for example reduced water consumption and toxicity reduction, as well as additional products such as smartphones, servers, printers and tablets in the calculation," explains AfB Managing Director Daniel Büchle.

Stefan Baumeister, managing director of myclimate Deutschland gGmbH, underlines the importance but also the complexity of the study: «Unfortunately, the selection of available LCA data in the electronics sector is still very limited. This study therefore required the cooperation and expertise of the entire myclimate team as well as the intensive exchange with AfB at every step of the project. Only through the transparency of many different environmental factors can we meaningfully measure why, how and with what impact it is worthwhile to use IT equipment for a longer period of time.»

In 2020, AfB processed 472,000 used IT devices from companies and public clients and was able to remarket 68 % of them, thus returning them to a new use cycle. Compared to new production, the IT refurbisher and its partners have saved more than 300 million litres of water, 170,400 MWh of energy, 24,700 tonnes of raw materials and 43,200 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

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