Green Funding Collaboration Tackles E-waste and Digital Equity
Quadrent and BNZ have partnered to deliver a New Zealand first – a green leasing solution for technology assets that will reduce e-waste entering landfill and provide digital technology such as laptops, smartphones and computer screens to communities around New Zealand.
The Quadrent Green Lease, backed by green lending, is a scalable way for large businesses to disrupt the traditional supply chain, procurement and ownership models associated with technology. It allows businesses to access technology via a lease and at the end of their lifecycle within that organisation, pass them back to Quadrent who recycle and repurpose the technology, as well as redistribute a portion of high-spec and high-quality tech devices into communities that need them most.
Globally each person generates about 7.3 kgs of e-waste each year, but in New Zealand that figure is nearly three times higher with every New Zealander accounting for 19.2kgs of e-waste each year*. In New Zealand having access and being able to use a laptop, a mobile phone and the internet is something most take for granted. However, 1 in 10 New Zealanders are excluded from performing these basic technology tasks**.
Quadrent CEO, Martyn Masterson, says, “Digital technology holds the key to a more sustainable, inclusive and productive future.
“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,” he says.
Mr Masterson says Quadrent’s Green 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 that will comply with your cybersecurity and ESG policies.
BNZ Head of Sustainable Finance, Louise Tong, “We are finding new ways to incentivise businesses to contribute to a more sustainable future in New Zealand. We are thrilled to be partnering with Quadrent to help reduce e-waste and increase access to digital technology in vulnerable communities,” she says.
“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.
“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.
“Quadrent Green Leases provide the opportunity for laptops and smartphones to get into the hands of school kids and community organisations who are crying out for the tools to get online and take advantage of digital technology many of us take for granted,” she says.
To achieve the maximum environmental and social impact, the Quadrent Green Lease is currently best suited for large organisations with more than 500 employees, but its CEO Mr Masterson says Quadrent is intent on finding new ways to expand its impact over time.
How the Quadrent Green Lease Works
The Quadrent Green Leases will be green loan funded and designed, at least initially, for large corporate users of technology. The Leases require that sustainability representatives are appointed by both Quadrent and its lease customer to develop, measure and implement the changes needed to reduce e-waste, emissions and boost digital inclusion. These changes include:
- Putting in place sustainable product selection and asset use protocols.
- The use of sustainable transportation for delivery of technology assets.
- The use of recycled/recyclable packaging and/or the sustainable disposal of used packaging.
- Organisational education about the sustainable, energy efficient use of technology assets and about their responsible disposal.
- The lifecycle management of technology in accordance with Quadrent’s Sustainability Hierarchy of: repurpose, refurbish, recycle, responsibly dispose.
- The secure data erasure of Quadrent Green Lease assets before they are repurposed and reused.
- A pledge from our corporate customers (matched by Quadrent) to donate a portion of their ex-lease devices to communities that most need them, with a strong emphasis on young kiwis.
*The e-waste problem
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021 stated that in 2019 the world generated 53.6 million metric tons of electronic and electrical equipment waste (e-waste), an increase of more than 20 per cent since 2014. Each person generated about 7.3 kilograms of e-waste in 2019, of which only 1.7 kilograms was documented to have been managed in an environmentally sustainable way.
Improper disposal of e-waste causes poisonous chemicals to be released into the soil and water, putting environmental and human health at risk. It results in a significant loss of scarce and valuable raw materials, such as gold, platinum, cobalt and rare earth elements, and as much as 7 per cent of the world’s gold may currently be contained in e-waste.
A common assumption might be that New Zealand must be better? Wrong. New Zealand is one of the world’s worst producers of e-waste with a whopping 19.2kg generated per person, per year.
**The digital equity divide
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Report 2021 also states: With schools and workspaces transitioning online due to COVID 19, information and communication technology (ICT) skills have become critically important. However, available data from 2017–2019 indicate that less than 40 per cent of youth and adults reported performing one of the basic ICT skills in the last three months, such as sending an email with an attachment.
In New Zealand having access and being able to use a laptop, a mobile phone and the internet is something most of us take for granted. However, the sobering fact is that 1 in 10 New Zealanders are excluded from these basic necessities.
Founded in 2002, and with offices in Australia and New Zealand, Quadrent is non-bank lender specialising in equipment finance and lease accounting software. Their core leasing services have reshaped equipment financing with a series of products that provide their customers with greater insights on how to finance, use and manage their assets better.
For further information, please contact:
Quadrent Marketing Manager
027 298 2160
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