AfB gGmbH

Member since: 04/2020

Active in: WG E-Waste

AfB gGmbH

AfB is Europe’s largest non-profit IT company, specialising in taking decommissioned IT equipment and mobile devices from companies and public bodies and reselling as much of the technology as possible. Hardware that is no longer usable is dismantled and recycled in line with high ecological and ethical standards, which means new raw materials are being produced right here in Europe. By refurbishing used hardware, we’re able to save energy and CO2 whilst reducing resource depletion and electronic waste at the same time. What’s special about AfB? All our work processes are barrier-free, given 45% of our more than 500 employees are people with disabilities.

For AfB, #ReduceReuseRecycle is more than just a hashtag. AfB aims to achieve the highest possible reselling rates of used IT equipment through data deletion and reconditioning. As an inclusive company, AfB designs its technical processes to ensure people both with and without disabilities can work in IT refurbishment. Advantage: functional devices can be dismantled manually and used to obtain spare parts. The useless, non-marketable leftover parts are pre-sorted by hand on AfB sites then handed over to our recycling partners for raw material recovery, in accordance with European environmental and labour law standards. By working this way, AfB avoids exporting old IT to the global south.

With few exceptions, IT hardware is designed to be linear and non-circular. Raw materials from many different countries are required and mined to manufacture the hardware. Added to this are the high CO2 emissions involved in computer production, which are only relativised over the product’s useful life. A long service life is therefore beneficial from an environmental perspective. This is exactly where AfB comes in, offering companies who don’t want to scrap their retired hardware the chance to make it available to the market again via reliable data destruction and reselling processes. In 2020, AfB was able to re-sell 68% of the 472,000 devices it acquired.