A new "green" hardware finance partnership is preparing to engage end users and resellers to tackle the fast growing e-waste challenge.
Finance specialist Quadrent and BNZ developed a service called Green Lease so large users of technology equipment could access a more sustainable way to manage their IT fleets and to repurpose those assets to boost digital inclusion.
“We’re giving large organisations a way to be at the forefront of innovation and digitisation while reducing e-waste and emissions and helping vulnerable communities around New Zealand get online and take part in the digital economy,” Quadrent CEO Martyn Masterson said.
The lease product, backed by green lending, was a scalable way for large businesses to disrupt the traditional supply chain, procurement and ownership models associated with technology, Quadrent said.
IT Managers seeking to change their current technology management from ownership to a Green Lease can contact Quadrent directly to discuss the options. However, the company can also work with the end user's preferred reseller to assist them through the process.
While the best time to do this is when looking at a technology refresh, Quadrent can also help organisations move from an existing standard leasing arrangement to its Green Lease.
Masterson said Quadrent’s lease gives an organisation peace of mind that its technology is appropriately managed through its lifecycle including ensuring it is securely wiped, environmentally repurposed, recycled or redistributed along with a full range of reporting to comply with cybersecurity and environmental and social policies.
For a customer to move, Quadrent will purchase their existing computer fleet and lease it back over a term aligned with the gear's expected remaining useful life. Equipment that has already reached its end of life can also be purchased by Quadrent or the customer can donate a portion to a digital inclusion charity.
Globally each person generates about 7.3 kgs of e-waste each year, according to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021. However, in New Zealand that figure is nearly three times higher with every Kiwi accounting for 19.2kgs of e-waste each year.
BNZ head of sustainable finance Louise Tong said the bank was finding new ways to incentivise businesses to contribute to a more sustainable future.
“Digital technology holds the keys to a more productive New Zealand economy, but such is the rate of innovation and product development that we all must play our part to reduce waste associated with it," she said.
“Equally, it is important to support New Zealanders to increase skills and access to the online world as a lack of digital skills and access to devices such as laptops and smartphones is holding many New Zealanders back from opportunities to take part in our digital economy."
Green leases provided the opportunity for laptops and smartphones to get into the hands of school kids and community organisations crying out for the tools to get online and take advantage of digital technology many of us take for granted, Tong said..
The Quadrent Green Lease is currently best suited for large organisations with more than 500 employees, but Masterson said Quadrent was intent on finding new ways to expand its impact over time.
The leases require that sustainability representatives are appointed by both Quadrent and the lease customer to develop, measure and implement the changes needed to reduce e-waste, emissions and boost digital inclusion.
These include putting in place sustainable product selection and asset use protocols, the use of sustainable transportation and recycled/recyclable packaging, organisational education about the sustainable, energy efficient use of technology and lifecycle management of technology in accordance with Quadrent’s sustainability hierarchy of "repurpose, refurbish, recycle, responsibly dispose".
Last year, sustainability measures were included during bidding for the new all of government hardware supply contract.