For immediate release:
New Program to Provide Low-Cost, Ethically Refurbished Computers to Digitally Disadvantaged Students and Families
Ethical Reuse for Community Good
Orlando, Florida; Seattle, Washington. September 19, 2017. The electronics recycling and refurbishment certification program known as e-Stewards® today announced a new "digital equity" program designed to channel computer equipment from large corporations and institutions to needy individuals and communities across North America.
Despite the fact that education, jobs, job access, and emergency services depend heavily on the internet and computing equipment, 1 in 5 persons in the United States today still have no access to the internet. Meanwhile, every year, thousands of working computers, printers and peripherals are removed from service and are shredded, or worse, exported to dirty recycling operations in developing countries.
The new e-Stewards Digital Equity (eDE) program, due to go live on January 1, 2018, will tap large corporate partners to donate working or repairable IT equipment directly to e-Stewards Certified Refurbisher/Recyclers, who will refurbish them to the highest environmental and social standard the e-Stewards Standard. Like-new devices in this program will then be sold to, and deployed by, city-led digital equity programs to provide digital access to low-income end-users at very low cost. The e-Stewards program hopes to divert thousands of computers and peripherals each year via ethical refurbishment and get them into the hands of deserving students, families and organizations across North America.
"Currently, far too many old computers, tablets, printers and monitors are being shredded or dumped overseas rather than refurbished and given a second or third life in the hands of people that need them the most," said Bob Akers, Enterprise Manager of the e-Stewards Electronics Recycling/Refurbishment Certification Program.
By providing large enterprise companies with the assurance of careful management and refurbishment of their old equipment, and an established, reputable channel to needy communities, the e-Stewards Digital Equity program will allow enterprise corporations to more easily engage in donating to ethical reuse for community good. e-Stewards Certification assures worker protections, data security, minimum specifications for tested and fully functional equipment, and prohibits the export of hazardous electronic scrap to developing countries. The benefits are significant:
- Cities benefit by finally having low-cost, high-quality equipment
- Enterprises benefit from having their IT asset liabilities carefully managed while garnering excellent public relations
- e-Stewards Refurbishers/Recyclers benefit by expanding their market to another realm of asset management services while building fruitful community relationships
- The low-income recipient benefits by access to a New Device Experience at very low cost.
- The environment benefits by lowering the carbon and toxics footprint from information technology use by virtue of giving longer life to resource intensive products.
"We are looking forward to participating in this program and being able to be a part of the very real human stories about improving lives in our community while protecting the global environment," said Reed Kaiser of University of Phoenix.
"Seattle welcomes this new e-Stewards initiative," said Chance Hunt, Seattle's Community Technology Manager. "As we work to tackle the digital inequity problem, we often find that the demand for quality low-cost computing equipment exceeds the supply. This public-private partnership could greatly improve this situation."
"It is extremely rewarding to see how lives change for the individuals participating in our Digital Equity programs," said Neil Peters-Michaud, CEO of Cascade Asset Management, an e-Stewards Certified Refurbisher. "It's a win for our customers, our company and the community."
The current list of eDE partners includes:
The National Digital Inclusion Alliance, HUD ConnectHome, EveryoneOn, City of Seattle, City of San Francisco, City of Madison, Kansas City, Old National Bank, American Family Insurance, iFixIT, Mobile Citizen, University of Phoenix.
The current list of e-Stewards Certified participating eDE partners includes:
Apto Solutions, Blue Star Recyclers, Capitol Asset Recovery, Inc., Cascade Asset Management, Comprenew, eGreen-IT Solutions, Electronic Recyclers International, EPC, Inc., Friendly Earth, Global eWaste Solutions, Inc., Kuusakoski US, LLC, Sage Sustainable Electronics, LLC., Surplus Exchange
e-Stewards is actively enrolling interested cities, e-Stewards Certified Refurbishers/Recyclers, and enterprise donors and service providers as eDE partners to profoundly change the lives of the 20% of our fellow citizens that are prevented from engaging in the digital age.
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For more information visit: www.e-Stewards.org/digital-equity/
For more information contact:
Bob Akers, e-Stewards Enterprise Director,
phone: +1 (206) 652-5555
Mandy Knudtson, e-Stewards Business Director,
phone: +1 (206) 652-5555
About e-Stewards® Certification
The e-Stewards® Initiative is a market-based solution to help individuals and organizations identify and promote those electronics recyclers that ensure that used electronics are managed with the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility. e-Stewards Certified Recyclers are audited and certified to ensure highest levels of responsibility and e-Stewards Enterprises are major corporations, municipalities or institutions that agree to make best efforts to make use of e-Stewards Certified Recyclers. For more information about the e-Stewards Initiative visit: www.e-Stewards.org, and follow @e-Stewards on Twitter.