With benefits for people and the planet, why wouldn’t you donate to the National Device Bank?

Natasha Bright-Wray on why it’s important to act now and join the National Device Bank, and how we’re exploring the barriers that stop businesses from donating.

With more and more services moving online, the internet is now an essential lifeline and should not be considered a luxury. However there are still 1.5 million households in the UK with no access to the internet and during these tough times, the digital divide will only deepen.

Alongside this, the climate crisis looms and we are faced with the extraordinary fact that each year 40 million tons of electronic waste is generated worldwide – that’s the equivalent of 800 laptops being thrown away each second.

It’s easy to feel like you can’t make a difference. But what if there was something that you could do that would benefit both people and the planet? With research demonstrating that younger generations place as much importance on the values of a company as the product/service, any action that has a positive environmental and social impact sounds like a win-win.

Introducing the National Device Bank

When an organisation updates their technology, their used devices could be given a new life by the National Device Bank, a Good Things Foundation initiative.

The devices could be laptops, PCs, mobile phones or tablets – all of which are sustainably refurbished by our national tech partner, Reconome. The devices are distributed through our National Digital Inclusion Network, to hubs that support those who live in disadvantaged communities, who are unable to afford or access mobile internet.

However, without companies’ used technology, the Device Bank will not exist and we need their support to sustainably re-use their devices to create a scaled solution that is good for the planet and fuels digital inclusion.

Whilst the process is simple, the decision-making behind it is more complicated. There may be concerns about security, a lack of awareness of the scheme, or a wish to capture a return by selling the devices on. We wanted to learn more about the blockers and enablers for businesses to get involved with the National Device Bank. The Circular Electronics Partnership and Deloitte are supporting the development of research to identify the risks and opportunities from the perspective of decision makers within national corporates.

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