Compugen Finance: Refurbishing End-of-First-Life™ IT Products for Reuse

Project Leads: Steve Glover, President/CEO

“Reduce, Reuse, Reimage” might be a fine motto for Compugen Finance who have made diverting some of the 44.7 million metric tonnes of E-waste that currently end up in landfill their mission. To get a sense of the scale of our E-waste problem, imagine someone building three Pyramids of Giza out of old, BonziBuddy infested laptops or assembling 4,500 Eiffel Towers out of precariously stacked Dell Workstations, and then shipping the whole lot off to the dump. That, in essence, is what the world does every year. What Compugen Finance works to do is convert that trash into assets by refurbishing and then reselling aging devices in global markets. This ability to find value for this End-of-First-Life™ technology allows Compugen Finance to pay monies back to the businesses from which the hardware originated. This is often considered ‘found money’ for their customers and as such Compugen encourages them to donate this money to a charity of their choice.

Compugen offers a carbon neutral technology program that leverages a circular economy model. Their organization ‘CO2 Neutral’ has created a refurbishment and reuse program that is the first IT reuse program to generate carbon credits. Through the refurbishment and reuse of a computer they are able to offset the manufacturing footprint and sale of a brand new computer. In partnership with a third-party they were able to quantify these emissions reductions and present their findings and data to the Canadian Standards Association – who approved their methodology and began registering their carbon credits.

In early 2018, Compugen  — already a Canadian Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers —  partnered with Microsoft on their ‘Cost of Doing Nothing’ campaign  to encourage organizations to replace aging computers running the two generation old Windows 7 with new computers running Windows 10, before Windows 7 support ends in 2020.  -There are currently over 160 million devices in North America that are running on Windows 7 and Compugen educated organizations on the security  — the average data breach costs an organization $84 000 — and energy efficiency benefits of trading that old technology while also working to the retired machines don’t end up as E-waste.

Compugen provides further incentive to organizations to trade-in desktops and laptops by providing them with carbon credits and cash at next to no cost to them. As a bonus, organizations can use their generated carbon credits to offset the carbon footprint of newly purchased IT equipment. At a time of growing consumer demand for green products, the program allows participating companies to proudly claim that they are making carbon neutral IT purchases.

To have recaptured 500 000 IT assets, offset 250 000 tons of CO2e from the refurbishment and resale of E-waste and generated 250 000 carbon credits as a result of offsetting these emissions as Compugen predicts they will do is a noble enough achievement. To have done this while also saving organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars in disposal costs and generating in excess of a million dollars of ‘found money’ for these organizations, money that has the potential to go to incredible causes is well, incredible.