25,000 used devices wanted


AfB social & green invites companies and authorities to sell functional but no longer used smartphones to the refurbishment pioneer. Even small quantities can be delivered and AfB also offers cooperation options for leasing contracts.

With this attack on smartphones, Europe’s largest non-profit IT company wants to further promote the circular economy in the IT sector and thus climate protection. With the extended lifetime of devices, emissions are avoided and resources are used better.


Based on studies by TU Berlin and the climate protection organization Myclimate, the non-profit GmbH, where half the workforce consists of people with disabilities, has been calculating the positive ecological and social effects of its work for years. Each smartphone refurbished by AfB emits, among other things, 27.13 kg of CO2 as well as 30.52 kWH of primary energy and a saving of 612.47 liters of water.


“From 2010 to 2022, the amount of e-waste generated worldwide has almost doubled, from 34 to 62 billion kilograms. The UN recently documented this in the Global E-Waste Monitor. Europe, the leader, produces the largest quantities per capita. This has to change, especially since the production of new devices is anything but climate-friendly and social,” said Daniel Büchle, CEO of AfB social & green IT.


“Therefore, mobile devices should be used for as long as possible. Our mission is to receive, reprocess and put an additional 25,000 smartphones back into circulation by the end of the year.”


As a rule, AfB collects used IT devices from partner companies using its own fleet. However, smartphones are often used in different places, such as in the field or in the home office. Therefore, the restorer offers parcel shipping in this case. This means that companies can also send small quantities of 20 or more. AfB has gathered all the details for safe delivery on the website. You can also download the dangerous goods label directly. Since mobile devices are often leased, the non-profit IT company also offers various cooperation options: from working with the lessor to switching to a lease agreement with sister company AfB Social Lease to purchasing hardware with guaranteed buyback prices.


In any case, AfB partners should be able to rely on absolute data security throughout the reprocessing process. After receiving the products, the ISO 27001, 9001 and 14001 certified company deletes the data using the professional Blancco Mobile Diagnostic and Erasure software. Individual components are then replaced as needed – if possible. This is where problems arise again and again with glued or welded models. Part linking, which only identifies parts with a specific serial number for iPhones, for example, also makes refurbishing more difficult.


The right to repair law recently passed by the EU aims to make repairs generally easier in the future. However, Büchle still sees the need for action: “Unfortunately, Apple devices are a special case. The previous pairing of components must be removed. But as long as the iCloud lock, which is meant to protect against theft, remains in place even if devices are lost, they should be broken. It’s a shame, because it’s often new models that are in high demand. It would be important to find a solution to remove this lock, for example, if a smartphone is left on a lost and found desk for a long time. Then we could bring significantly more high-quality smartphones back into the cycle and thus reduce the ecological footprint.”


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