UK company pioneers ‘green’ IT in education

As millions of young people across our warming globe are calling for action, one spectacularly successful UK company is helping schools, colleges and universities make a difference and save millions of pounds.

Hampshire-based Circular Computing is the world’s first remanufacturer of laptops and is selling hundreds of thousands of them in response to increasingly loud demands for governments around the world to do more to support a manufacturing industry where technical materials are designed for perpetual cycles of use – what’s called the circular economy.

“We know that education budgets are always tight. Procurement of new top specification laptops in the huge numbers required for staff and students is difficult to justify when finances are subject to public standards of accountability,” said Rod Neale, founder of the company.

“But refurbished or secondhand laptops are unpopular whether you’re in education or out in the world of work. They don’t perform like new devices and they certainly don’t look like new, which is why they typically arrive with a 3-month warranty.

“We came up with a third way by precisely remanufacturing top-model laptops back to their original performance, reliability and brand new appearance.”

Circular Computing employs hundreds of engineers in purpose-built remanufacturing facilities who take the latest models from large corporations’ leasing programmes, including major brands such as HP, Dell and Lenovo, and strip them down to their component level. They are then given new screens, new batteries, new polished finishes – inside and out, with all parts that are not defective reused, before being sold at a fraction of the price of new, including a 3-year replacement warranty or buy-back. 

As internet usage soars, the problems surrounding the IT industry are rising alarmingly. More than 160 million new laptops are made every year. As well as being responsible for around 17% of electronic waste, their production depends on many of the earth’s dwindling resources, including rare ‘conflict’ minerals, metals and water.

The IT industry causes the same amount of much greenhouse gas pollution as the entire airline industry.

Circular Computing laptops are the first in the world to be carbon neutral. The company not only offset carbon emissions through worldwide clean energy projects, but also compensate for legacy carbon emissions by planting 5 trees for every laptop sold.

For those working in education, the benefits of remanufacturing are significant in terms of cost-savings, landfill reduction and the chance to align with a global movement towards greening the planet.