Recycling old laptops brings new hope for jobseekers

18 Mar 2024
Redundant laptops are being given a new life by helping jobseekers to make their own fresh starts.

An innovative Ingeus initiative sees it supplying people who have been out of work for more than nine months with refurbished tech, not just boosting their job prospects but bringing gains for the environment.

Each refurbished laptop bought for participants of Ingeus’ Restart Scheme contract in London results in a saving of 316kg of carbon and preserves resources such as water, lead, gold, iron, aluminium and steel. It is estimated 120,000kg of the earth is dug up and mined to make one laptop.

By restoring computers and smart phones no longer needed by businesses, the partnership with BornGood, which specialises in revitalising unwanted IT hardware, puts vital tech into the hands of people who may not otherwise be able to afford it.

For those close to securing work offers, it can create life-changing opportunities, while London communities also benefit from the partnership.

BornGood pledges to donate 10 per cent of the kit it revamps to charities. At the suggestion of Ingeus it donated 20 top-spec laptops to the Hackney Migrant Centre, which supports refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants with free advice on immigration, welfare and health.

The money Ingeus uses to buy the kit, which is wiped clean of existing data, comes from its Performance Fund, which is ring-fenced for services and training to help Restart Scheme participants overcome barriers to employment.

The BornGood arrangement saves money for Ingeus and, ultimately, taxpayers, but the decision last October to become partners was not a financial one, says Ingeus Head of Integration in London Mike Collins.

“This wasn’t a cost saving project, it was driven by sustainability,” he says.

So far Ingeus has ordered 308 laptops and 68 mobile phones through BornGood and the first three months of the initiative has saved: Mike adds: “The partnership is saving Ingeus time, money and, most importantly, helping the environment.
“In the first few months BornGood has already become one of the top four suppliers we work with through the Performance Fund. We are looking to expand the arrangement to our other employability contracts and possibly into our Justice and Health divisions.”

BornGood CEO Simon Howatson says: “Ingeus’ commitment to empowering jobseekers to turn their lives around makes it a good fit with us. Our shared commitment to individual empowerment helps ensure that together we can enhance the lives of those we support.

“All tech collected is repurposed, recycled, resold or donated, reducing land, sea and air pollution, ensuring we're conserving natural resources, reducing carbon output, and limiting greenhouse gases.”

BornGood’s commitment to supporting communities through the Donate Digital and Laptops for Kids programmes saw it distribute 3,000 pieces of IT equipment during the pandemic to children who could have missed out on learning during school closures.

Simon adds: “We believe the world can be a lot more sustainable by challenging the way organisations think and behave when it comes to their unwanted and old equipment.”

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