CHG-MERIDIAN closes the gap - second-hand IT equipment for educational projects and secure hardware disposal

CHG-MERIDIAN Belux announces partnership with Close the Gap and WorldLoop

Certified Proven “closed-loop” Green ICT-4-Development concept with social and environmental impact for customers’ decommissioned equipment

Pilot phase starts with project in Belgium

 CHG-MERIDIAN Belgium, devloping countries, school class, ICT, WorldLoop

Photo by WimBlonk

Based on a unique alliance with two social and environmentally driven organizations, CHG-MERIDIAN Belgium now makes it easy for customers to make a CSR impact by sustainably bridging the digital divide in developing countries when they acquire new computers, servers, or other hardware through CHG-MERIDIAN’s financial program. CHG-MERIDIAN is the first technology management company worldwide to include this type of offer which also benefits both the environment and society. The option to donate a customer’s decommissioned hardware to Close the Gap, a United Nation’s recognized non-profit organization, to provide IT support to socially beneficial projects in developing countries and neutralize their donation with ‘e-Resource Certificates’ now comes standard in all future lease agreements.

Access to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is a key driver for the development of any society in today’s world. Improving access to information contributes to the elimination of poverty and disease, leads to better education and more gender equality. Close the Gap bridges the digital divide by giving high quality donated ICT equipment a second life in schools, universities, medical centers, micro-finance institutes and other social projects in developing and emerging countries with the support of local partners.

Unfortunately, when ICT equipment, new or reconditioned, reaches end-of-life and becomes e-waste, it can pose a serious environmental threat. While much of the Western world has the necessary infrastructure and regulatory support to oversee proper disposal, the developing world often lacks the needed means and expertise. With the help of e-Resource Certificates, WorldLoop changes the e-waste cycle by working with local communities to set up environmentally friendly e-waste recycling solutions by providing seed funding, expertise and training, and using internationally best available technologies for the proper disposal of the hazardous materials. “We already cover the entire lifecycle for all kinds of technological equipment, including refurbishing so that it can be resold,” said Jürgen Mossakowski, Chief Executive Officer of the CHG-MERIDIAN Group. “We therefore make a significant contribution to environmental protection and data security.”

For CHG-MERIDIAN’s Stefan Ertel, Executive Vice President Western Europe, the alliance with Close the Gap and WorldLoop represents a huge opportunity for CHG-MERIDIAN to enhance the environmental and social credentials of its solutions portfolio. “In developing countries, second-hand PCs and laptops can continue to provide a useful service for years. Add responsible end-of-life recycling and you have a holistic, end-to-end solution. This is where our partnership comes in, providing added value that contributes to social and environmental sustainable development.”

CHG-MERIDIAN already resells the bulk of the technology portfolio it manages for customers on the second-hand market. “In the future, CHG-MERIDIAN’s customers will be able to participate in socially and environmentally friendly business concepts for IT, Industrial and Healthcare investments. Environmental and social responsibility develops from sporadic to systematic becoming embedded in the standard processes and business models of our customers”, explained Ertel.

Close the Gap not only provides computers to developing countries, it also builds partnerships with organizations worldwide in order to deliver comprehensive software and hardware solutions to its recipients. We have supported more than 3,000 projects all over the world since 2003. WorldLoop helps provide the sustainable end-of-life solution while also creating jobs and stimulating the local economy.

“The cooperation with CHG-MERIDIAN will allow us to extend both the individual and the community within a spirit of environmentally sustainable socio-economical IT enabled development,” said Olivier Vanden Eynde, Founder and Managing Director Close the Gap and WorldLoop.

 Close the Gap, CHG-MERIDIAN, socially responsible, donation

Pilot phase championed this year by Christelijke Mutualiteit Antwerpen (CMA)

CHG-MERIDIAN has won its first major order for this service from CMA (Christelijke Mutualiteit Antwerpen), a Belgian health insurance provider. The order encompasses the replacement of old equipment, installation of new IT, finance, and the remarketing of the used hardware, but also includes a guarantee that the old equipment will be put to use for a good cause. “For every 100 items of used equipment that are disposed of, CMA will donate ten computers to Close the Gap. What’s more, an ‘e-Resource Certificate’ will be obtained from WorldLoop with each new computer so that a defective PC in a developing country can be properly recycled. This environmentally friendly model that also incorporates social benefits will be firmly embedded in our business processes from now on,” said Ertel.

Photo by Lisa Scriven

Therefore, every tenth new computer in Belgium means a new computer for a school in a developing country that likely would never have had the opportunity to afford one otherwise. The alliance is being launched with a pilot phase in the Benelux countries. “We will keep a very close eye on the partnership and on the response from customers,” said Mossakowski. “We will then decide how we want to add this green and socially beneficial service to our portfolio across the group in what is for us a highly ambitious and new venture. I am confident that, besides making a lasting impression on our customers, we can work with them to help make the world a little bit better.”

About CHG-MERIDIAN

CHG-MERIDIAN is one of the world’s leading non-captive providers of technology management in the fields of IT, telecommunications, industry, and healthcare. CHG-MERIDIAN has a workforce of approximately 800 professionals and offers one-stop management of customers’ technology infrastructure. Its product range includes consulting, financial and operational services, as well as remarketing services for used equipment at its proprietary Technology and Service Center. CHG-MERIDIAN offers efficient technology management for large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises, and public-sector clients. It provides services for over 10,000 customers around the world and manages technology investments in excess of €3.6 billion. More than 1,600 of its customers also monitor their technology portfolios online using the TESMA© Online technology and service management system. The company has a global presence with 40 sites in 23 countries and is headquartered in Weingarten, southern Germany.

Efficient Technology Management by CHG-MERIDIAN®

About Close the Gap

Close the Gap is an international non-profit organization that aims to bridge the digital divide by offering high-quality, pre-owned computers donated by large and medium-sized corporations or public organizations to educational, medical, entrepreneurial and social projects in developing and emerging countries. All the projects are demand-driven and share the common denominator of being non-profit-oriented initiatives. Since 2003, Close the Gap has already received 379,800 computer assets from companies all over Europe.

More information about Close the Gap can be found at
www.close-the-gap.org

About WorldLoop

WorldLoop is an international non-profit organization committed to extending the positive impact of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) projects in developing countries by offsetting the negative environmental impact of its hardware. Founded by Close the Gap in 2009, WorldLoop supports 13 projects in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. Since the start, more than 1000 tons of e-waste have been spared from landfills and recycled properly, with 75,000kg of complex material shipped back to Europe for proper treatment. As a result, 1500 tons of CO2 emissions have been avoided.

More information about WorldLoop can be found at
www.worldloop.org