Kent County Council (KCC) and Circular Computing are partnering to tackle the digital divide by providing remanufactured laptops to vulnerable people in the region, helping them stay connected with sustainable technology.
Using the carbon-neutral remanufactured laptops supplied by Circular Computing, those currently digitally excluded in the county now have the opportunity to access technology for free through Kent County Council’s Digital Inclusion and Capabilities team to help them get online, whether it’s to job search, study, complete important admin or simply stay in touch with family and friends.
Steve Haskew, Head of Sustainability and Social Leadership at Circular Computing said, "We're always striving to create real-world social and environmental impact with whoever we work with, and partnering with Kent County Council is a great example of the power that Remanufacturing can have. Since working with them we have not only been able to support them with their sustainability journey, reducing their Scope 3 emissions, but we have also enabled them to purchase a greater quantity of laptops than buying new to reach a wider number of individuals in the county. It's a privilege to support the fantastic work the council is doing, and we encourage other councils to get in touch for support with similar projects."
The carbon-neutral, remanufactured laptops provided by Circular Computing are more cost-effective than brand-new devices by using second-life technology, meaning the council is able to procure a higher volume of high-quality, good-as-new technology at a fraction of the cost in comparison to new, all whilst achieving a carbon neutral process.
For every remanufactured laptop bought instead of new, Kent County Council will prevent approximately 316kg (700lb) of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere, save over 190,000 litres of water from being extracted, and stop the mining of 1,200kg of the earth's resources. It’s the equivalent of taking around 360 cars off the road for a year and saving enough drinking water for the average person for over 3,000 years.
Sam Lain-Rose, Digital Lead at Kent County Council added, "digital Kent’s scheme, as part of our Financial Hardship programme showcases our commitment to supporting the people of Kent currently facing digital exclusion. It’s been a tough few years for residents and we wanted to make sure we reach as many individuals as possible through our projects. Partnering with Circular Computing has enabled us to do just that with better value devices as well as helping Kent be more sustainable.”
In addition to the Digital Inclusion scheme, Kent County Council has also set up a trade-in and recycling scheme for local residents to recycle their old laptops, with the council then able to use the second-hand tech to fund the continued purchase of reliable, high-quality second-life devices to support and develop the circular economy and further tackle the digital divide.