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Turn Used IT Equipment Into "Green Philanthropy"

Published 09-27-07

Submitted by TechSoup

TechSoup initiative makes business sense while delivering environmental and social benefits

"Used but Useful" computers are kept out of the wastestream with a second life at nonprofit organizations and in low-income families, and also provide a carbon offset

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - September 27, 2007 - TechSoup's Refurbished Computer Initiative (RCI) takes responsibility for a corporation's unwanted IT equipment and turns used computer and office equipment into effective corporate Green Philanthropy. Recognizing that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs must align with business needs, this comprehensive IT asset management program accepts all unwanted IT equipment (working or not), transfers responsibility and liability, meets regulatory requirements, and provides complete program management. Donated equipment that still has a useful life is refurbished and made available to nonprofit organizations and low-income families. And keeping unwanted equipment out of the wastestream delivers a meaningful carbon offset for the environment.

TechSoup (www.techsoup.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is the leader in helping other nonprofits get and use information technology. It has partnered with Redemtech, a leading IT asset management firm, to create a triple-win program that addresses all of the financial and business issues associated with disposing unwanted IT equipment, while delivering both social and environmental benefits.

Jim Lynch, RCI Program Director, notes that the RCI program is ready for large scale operation: "Nonprofits around the country badly need good low-cost computers. Our only challenge now is supply. TechSoup is currently identifying large companies and other organizations able to donate their used, commercial-grade personal computers and other office equipment, and participate in the RCI program as recognized partners."
Highlights of the triple-win RCI program include:

Business Sense

Corporate Social Responsibility has become an extremely important consideration to employees, customers, partners, and investors. Participating companies gain a partnership that will efficiently get rid of their unwanted IT equipment while fulfilling CSR objectives in a way that becomes a visible proof point to their constituents. "Used-but-useful" computers and other equipment are upgraded and distributed to TechSoup's nonprofit client organizations; remaining components are remarketed or recycled using fully environmentally responsible and legally compliant processes. Through Redemtech, the program handles the logistics, secures corporate data, transfers liability, recycles e-waste (with legal indemnification), and provides complete reporting for company records. Companies incur only normal disposition costs for these services.

Social Benefits

Donated equipment is made available to qualified nonprofit organizations and low-income families at the lowest possible cost - a fraction of the price of new equipment and less than half the price of comparable used equipment. Donations enable nonprofit organizations to allocate more of their budgets to their primary missions, while RCI PCs provides low-income families with the educational and occupational benefits of home computing - enabling them to cross the digital divide.

Environmental Benefits

Reuse provides the highest environmental benefit of all IT disposal alternatives. Keeping just two computers and CRTs out of the wastestream yields a carbon offset equal to taking a car off the road for a year (according to an Environmental Benefits Calculator developed by the U.S EPA). At final end-of-life, the equipment is taken back by Redemtech and recycled at no additional cost.

TechSoup Leadership

TechSoup has been a thought leader and advocate for the reuse of electronic equipment for several years. It organizes and hosts the annual International Computer Refurbishers Summit, consults to the U.S. EPA and other governmental agencies on policy formulation, and provides general advocacy to all sectors through TechSoup's Web site, papers, and speaking engagements. TechSoup administers the Community Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers (Community MAR) program for the 44 countries of the Americas. Community MAR supplies very low-cost Windows licensing to refurbishers of all types for computers that are provided to schools or charities anywhere in the world.

TechSoup Infrastructure

TechSoup has an established Web platform to distribute donated products to nonprofit organizations. It includes an industry-leading process to verify eligibility, enforce giving restrictions, process orders and provide customer support. In fiscal year 2007, TechSoup distributed 846,000 technology products with a retail value of $251 million to 40,000 organizations.

More information about the RCI program can be found at www.techsoup.org/stock/rci. Contact Senior Business Development Manager Kris Sowolla (ksowolla@techsoup.org, 415-633-9476) for specifics about participation as an RCI equipment donor.

About TechSoup

Founded in 1987 as CompuMentor, TechSoup is one of the most comprehensive nonprofit technology assistance providers in the world, employing a staff of 150 and deploying a budget of over $18 million. It conducts a range of major programs on the international, national, and the local level, including the operation of its nonprofit technology Web site TechSoup (www.techsoup.org) and its distribution service for technology product donations, TechSoup Stock (www.techsoup.org/stock). As part of TechSoup Stock, the Recycled Computer Initiative (RCI) distributes unwanted corporate IT equipment to nonprofits and low-income families, turning used computers and office equipment into effective corporate Green Philanthropy.

TechSoup's newest programs are the NetSquared (www.netsquared.org) initiative to help nonprofits worldwide use new Internet-based tools such as blogging and podcasting to extend their reach and impact and TechSoup Global, its program aimed at building NGO capacity worldwide.

About Redemtech

Redemtech Technology Change Management (TCM) services help organizations increase IT asset utilization and assure regulatory compliance during technology transitions. Redemtech provides an outsourced solution to TCM that uses best practices and automated technologies to implement and manage processes for deploying, redeploying and decommissioning computer systems. Redemtech clients can realize a 40 percent to 70 percent reduction in asset recovery and disposition costs, while achieving 100 percent warranted data security and environmental compliance assurance. Redemtech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Micro Electronics, one of the largest privately held technology companies in the United States. For more about Redemtech, please visit www.redemtech.com.

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TechSoup

TechSoup

Founded in 1987 as CompuMentor, TechSoup is one of the most comprehensive nonprofit technology assistance providers in the world, employing a staff of 150 and deploying a budget of over $18 million. It conducts a range of major programs on the international, national, and the local level, including the operation of its nonprofit technology Web site TechSoup (www.techsoup.com) and its distribution service for technology product donations, TechSoup Stock (www.techsoup.org/stock). As part of TechSoup Stock, the Recycled Computer Initiative (RCI) distributes unwanted corporate IT equipment to nonprofits and low-income families, turning used computers and office equipment into effective corporate Green Philanthropy. TechSoup’s newest programs are the NetSquared (www.netsquared.org) initiative to help nonprofits worldwide use new Internet-based tools such as blogging and podcasting to extend their reach and impact and TechSoup Global, its program aimed at building NGO capacity worldwide.

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