Case: Recover-E

Katarzyna Czop News

We invite everyone to familiarize yourself with the another case study created within the Circular Public Procurement.

Recover-E is foundation that runs a program focused on recovering, reusing and recycling ICT equipment. They acquire equipment from organizations (e.g. companies, schools or municipalities) and guarantee their re-use and eventual recycling. Furthermore, they track and monitor the physical and financial value of the ICT they are managing.   

Circularity of business model:

The business model of Recover-E is able to reuse the flow of ICT equipment, preventing its premature disposal as well as guaranteeing its recycled once it has reached a stage where is no longer valuable as a product. Their operations rests in two pillars:

1) They enter into collaborations with their customers through medium term contracts (4-5 years) in which they guarantees that their used (and depreciated) ICT equipment will be responsibly re-used in the future. The contract collaboration includes labeling and tracking of equipment across their life-cycle; data wipe and refurbishment after collection and preparation for recycling of obsolete equipment.

2)  Once the used ICT equipment has been acquired by Recover-E, they offer it through their web shop to other customers through leasing contracts. This 2-year lease includes service and replacement in case of malfunctioning while the contract is valid. After the expiration of the contract, the user is free to send it back and get a refund of €50 or keep it, only without the guarantee service. In this way, they can guarantee that their original consumers ICT equipment is used and kept in best state as possible, and not treated as waste in unknown conditions.

Other benefits:

Recover-E can be considered as an ICT-equipment broker and it is from this position that they can carry on their activities without facing some of the largest structural barriers that other actors in the supply chain face. For example, manufacturers may be reluctant to promoting re-use of equipment due to the risk of cannibalizing their own sales. Conversely, waste managers, are not allowed, per regulation, to pursue a second life for any used ICT equipment they acquire. 

Main Barriers:

Compared to other ICT brokers constituted as for-profit which are ruled by market dynamics (supply and demand), Recover-E cannot guarantee a maximum commercial value in return to the used-ICT equipment to organizations. Their value offering resides on maximizing re-use, therefore, if cost is the only consideration, they are unable to compete in some cases with traditional ICT equipment brokers.