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VolkerWessels UK builds on local circular economy with ITVET, donating laptops to local communities

May 2021 • 2 min read

VolkerWessels UK has underlined its commitment to reinforcing and building a circular economy for the good of everyone, promoting sustainability and supporting local communities, by donating 90 laptops with the assistance of ITVET.

At the start of the pandemic, it was widely reported that local schools and communities were in desperate need of computer hardware, such as laptops and tablets, for home schooling. This sparked the interest of a few junior members of VolkerWessels UK’s ICT team, who enquired whether the business would be able to assist with the repurposing of laptops that had outlived their ‘best before’ date for business usage, but still had lots of life still left in them.

This initiative prompted a new working relationship between VolkerWessels UK and ITVET, an IT company with headquarters in Bishop’s Stortford. ITVET strongly believe in “FreePurposing”. They take a ‘not for profit’ approach to provide the costs, skills and labour needed to support the Laptops for School programme.

Once ICT had removed the hard drives from the laptops, to prevent any data security issues, the shells were then delivered to ITVET, who in turn refurbished them and installed new donated SSD hard drives, before distributing to schools and charities that were greatly in need.

In addition to refurbishing used laptops via third party clients such as VolkerWessels UK, and distributing them to schools and local communities, ITVET also runs a programme, whereby for every new laptop purchased directly from them, they will also donate a refurbished one to a community or charity chosen by the purchaser.

Emma Ward, head of sustainability and inclusion, said: “When we were approached with this idea of ‘giving back’ to the community, it really struck a chord, and we are so pleased to be able to assist and be a small part of this circular economy drive.

“We have now made the commitment internally that all opportunities will be explored to donate or re-purpose our owned ICT equipment before it gets sent for recycling or disposal.”

Richard Fountain of ITVET commented: “We are so grateful to VolkerWessels UK for their significant donation of laptops to our Laptops for Schools project. We are honoured to have collaborated with them. Their donation has really boosted the number of devices we’ve been able to FreePurpose. We are so pleased to see the “FreePurposing” movement gathering momentum. We’ve seen a recent increase in laptops donated and reached some sizeable milestones with our fundraising to fund the installation of new hard drives. Word is spreading that we can really drive value from the valuable resources of our devices, rather than sending them to landfill. By donating to charities and schools, the scheme also provides digital inclusion to those who don’t have reliable access to devices for their learning. We look forward to further driving the FreePurposing scheme, with its own website coming soon.”

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