Most of the major companies that donate computers to Computer Aid have offices in many overseas countries. Computer Aid with its partner Tier 1 Asset Management can collect donated equipment in most countries, wipe the hard drives to the same standards as in the UK and process the equipment for reuse within that country ensuring full data security. Equipment that cannot be reused is sustainably recycled.
Additionally, both in the UK and overseas, companies, due to Covid restrictions, have employees working from home. In these circumstances how do they undertake a refresh of the IT kit being used at home without incurring difficult logistical and GDPR challenges? The answer is through our ability to wipe remotely the hard drives of the computers at home and to collect at the convenience of the individual employee thereby ensuring no breach of data security.
Oxford University Press (OUP) has donated computers to us for many years in the UK. Whilst their biggest employee group is in the UK they also have 40 offices in countries ranging from India, Poland, the USA and Canada. OUP decided last year to refresh all its IT kit in all countries and to donate the equipment to Computer Aid. Most of their employees, due to Covid restrictions, were working from home. They also naturally wanted to both ensure full data security and to keep costs low.
No single solution was applicable in all countries but working through Tier 1s IT4Disposal global partnership we were able to devise plans suitable for OUP. The core features were
- Remotely wiping the hard drives of the laptops employees were using at home
- Collecting the laptops and taking them to a Tier 1 global partner for processing for reuse or sustainable recycling within that country
- All processes followed, including data destruction, to the same standards as in the UK
- Covering the cost of doing so through the residual value of the equipment thereby minimising any cost to OUP
- Computer Aid received income from the residual value after costs were covered.
In India, OUP has 5 offices with some 358 laptops donated to Computer Aid. The laptops were collected by our strategic partner in India, EcoReco, who wiped the hard drives and processed the equipment for reuse. The process went without a problem and we are discussing with other companies undertaking similar work in India. Shashank Soni managing director of Eco Reco, based in Mumbai said he looked forward to working with Computer Aid in the future.
Equipment is still being collected and processed for OUP from their overseas offices but in Poland, Hungary, and Malaysia for example, as in India, our work has been completed.