Socially responsible companies donate IT hardware which they no longer require to AfB gemeinnützige GmbH. The goods are collected, inventorized and all data is certifiably erased. They are then tested, cleaned and finally marketed again with a warranty of at least 12 months.
Setting up a not-for-profit company in the IT sector has never been done before. AfB was founded in 2004 by personally committed private individuals with a social focus. This social enterprise now employs a total workforce of over 250 in 16 locations in Europe. Half of those employed have a disability and have been enabled to gain quality employment through the scheme. The company processes over 230.000 used appliances a year and the tendency is rising.
As well as creating 500 jobs for disabled men and women over the coming years, the remarketing of IT equipment will make a valuable contribution in terms of cutting carbon emissions. Remarketing PCs, notebooks and other hardware will help to reduce the need for separation of the raw materials used in IT appliances in third-world countries, which poses a risk to health and to the environment.
The AfB model is seen as a prime example of successful social entrepreneurship, as it combines professional IT services with social added value, and is the proud recipient of the 2012 Vision Award.
Collection of IT hardware & certified data erasure
IT hardware is collected from the donor by AfB employees using the organization's own vehicle fleet. The highest standard of data security is guaranteed right from the moment of collection, for instance by using lockable transport containers and by means of building video surveillance and access control. The devices are transferred directly to the nearest AfB branch, where they are inventorized and entered under strict security conditions into our own quarantine store. AfB also offers its partners a special service which allows them to trace their donated devices from their inventorization. A password-protected login allows their processing status to be tracked at any time online.
In the registration area a decision is taken on the device's subsequent destination, for instance whether it will be dismantled or remarketed. Each device is then registered in detail (e.g. manufacturer, model, serial number, unit number). All this data is saved in the materials management system and linked to a uniquely identifiable log ID. Any labels or identifiers which could provide clues to the previous owner are then removed.
Certified data erasure using Blancoo erasure software. Depending on the service level agreed with the partner, the memory is overwritten multiple times by the erasure software. Following completed data erasure, all devices undergo a device test to determine which hardware components are present, and then forwarded for the next processing stage.
Remarketing & Recycling of used IT hardware
In the registration area, a decision is taken on the device's subsequent destination, for instance whether it will be dismantled or remarketed. Functional devices are professionally cleaned and upgraded where necessary, defective devices are repaired where economically viable. Devices destined for remarketing are then resold in AfB shops, in the online shop, on eBay and direct from the workshop with a warranty of at least 12 months. Devices which are no longer functional or which cannot be remarketed are dismantled and all data carriers removed, separately logged and mechanically destroyed.
All unusable components ar eprofessionally broken down into their individual constituents in our own in-house dismantling shop, separated into material types, sent for professional recycling to regional refineries and so re-enter the raw materials chain. Materials such as precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) are separated and purified using complex high-tech recycling processes. Their excellent resistance properties allow this type of metal to be returned directly to the raw material market and reused in new products practically without loss of quality.
On-Site Sale for Business Partners
To allow employees of our partner companies to derive a direct, straightforward benefit from successful cooperation with AfB, as well as offering preferential purchasing conditions in the AfB and online shop, we also hold customer sales events. What this means in practice is that AfB employees set up a sales stand with reconditioned notebooks, PCs, TFTs and printers directly on your company premises. For a whole day, employees of our partners have the opportunity to benefit directly at their place of work from latest AfB offers - at specially calculated preferential rates.
AfB supports their Business Partners not only with services like the collection of hardware, erasure of sensitive data and special sales, but with corporate social responsibility strategies.
WAB - Out of the WORKSHOP - trough TRAINING - to a CAREER
It is difficult for young disabled men and women to qualify in recognized trades and professions within private enterprise. Employment in "Workshops for the Disabled" is often the only alternative left open to them.
This is why AfB offers these young people the opportunity to complete a 3-year vocational training course culminating in a recognized qualification as "specialist in practical IT systems". Both the practical and the theoretical aspects of the course are held in the AfB premises, allowing different types of disability to be duly taken into consideration.
The aim of the project is to allow candidates from Workshops for the Disabled access to the world of work by giving them a recognized IT training and qualification. If they succeed in completing the training, they are given a tenured work contract with AfB straight away. Businesses, banks, insurance companies and public institutions can make a major contribution towards this project by donating their IT hardware to AfB.
JUMP - learn IT
The Jump project allows discarded IT devices from local authorities, councils, ministries and courts to be made available at low cost to schools in their region. AfB takes charge of the whole process, from collection through recycling to invoicing, and local government is able to invest in education without any added burden on their budgets.
Using the online platform http://jump.afb24.com/ PCs, notebooks, TFTs and printers with a warranty of at least 12 months can be ordered. We also offer schools the possibility to acquire Microsoft software packages at low cost. A monthly newsletter also goes out with regular information about attractive offers.
Stifter-helfen - IT for non-profit organizations
Since February 2011 AfB has been working closely together with the stifter-helfen.de organization. The online portal for charities and non-profit organizations has an "as-new hardware" section which offers fully functional hardware products such as notebooks, PCs and TFTs - with the latest versions of Microsoft software ready installed - at knock-down prices. AfB is a strong supporter of Stifter-helfen.de and makes available a large proportion of the offered hardware. www.stifter-helfen.de