Kent County Council

Case study

Kent County Council is making a significant effort towards bridging the digital divide and have partnered with global leader Circular Computing to provide over 4,500 carbon-neutral, remanufactured laptops to residents in need.

Kent county council

Kent County Council (KCC) is the largest local authority, serving the diverse needs of the community in areas like education, health, environment, and business. They are at the forefront of implementing innovative, sustainable solutions for pressing societal issues, including digital exclusion.

The challenges

Kent County Council faced a digital conundrum.They had pledged to bridge the digital divide for their residents through Digital Inclusion scheme - bringing technology to every doorstep and connect every individual to the digital world.

The challenge was how to design and deliver a Digital Inclusion programme for the largest County Council in England. After engagement, Circular Computing were selected to provide the hardware as part of the Hardware Access Scheme for Digital Kent - www.digitalkent.uk

A challenge that called for innovative thinking, strategic partnerships, and a steadfast commitment to their values.

The process

Circular Computing first engaged with KCC in November 2019 at a networking event called LGPE (Local Government Procurement Expo) in London.

The interest in Circular Computing’s remanufactured laptops was immediate but it accelerated due to the impact of COVID. KCC were in the process of building out their Digital inclusion programme, but the arrival of COVID meant the need to keep the community connected became an even bigger, immediate issue.

Funding was made available for the right solution, which included building a team around the principal, as getting hardware into the hands of the user became paramount. Then there was a need to ensure they are connected, trained and are able to use the laptop to enhance their life needs - so a personal touch with training and support was required.

The solution

Circular Computing offered a sustainable and socially responsible alternative to brand new laptops and its position as the global leader in remanufacturing laptops provided the required confidence to take this approach.

Through the partnership with Kent County Council, they supplied carbon neutral, second-life remanufactured laptops to over 4,500 residents in the county, supporting those who were facing digital exclusion.

They delivered a bespoke product sourced for the project – a Lenovo Yoga 11e. The laptops were remanufactured and sent to KCC’s reseller warehouse for dispatch to the end user directly.

Results

Since the partnership began, there are now over 4,500 laptops in the field, provided to those in need - from students without regular technology access to individuals facing financial hardship.

These remanufactured laptops have not only helped bridge the digital divide but have also significantly reduced Scope 3 carbon emissions. The product has performed well and proved to be robust and resilient with an RMA rate of only 55 units (1% of total), where 12 units were no fault found.

Sam Lain-Rose, Digital Lead at Kent County Council stated:

"Digital Kent’s scheme, as part of our Financial Hardship programme showcases our commitment to supporting the people of Kent currently facing digital exclusion. It’s been a tough few years for residents and we wanted to make sure we reach as many individuals as possible through our projects. Partnering with Circular Computing has enabled us to do just that with better value devices as well as helping Kent be more sustainable."

 

CO2

CO2 prevented

1,422,000 kgs of CO₂ equivalent greenhouse gases prevented at manufacture

Infographic_Iconography_Sequestered

CO2 sequestered

2,700,000 kgs of CO₂ equivalent greenhouse gases sequestered from the atmosphere

Infographic_Iconography_Water

Water saved

855,000,000 litres of water has been saved from the production of new materials

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Reforestation

22,500 trees planted through our reforestation partners

"We’re always striving to create real world social and environmental impact with whoever we work with and partnering with Kent County Council is a great example of the power that Remanufacturing can have. Since working with them we have not only been able to support them with their sustainability journey, reducing their Scope 3 emissions, but we have also enabled them to purchase a greater quantity of laptops than buying new to reach a wider number of individuals in the county. It’s a privilege to support the fantastic work the council is doing and we encourage other councils to get in touch for support with similar projects."

STEVE HASKEW, Head of Sustainability & Social Leadership at Circular Computing

Quality without compromise

We produce leading brand, carbon neutral remanufactured laptops.

Our BSI Kitemark™ certified process remanufactures laptops ‘to equal or better than new’, with up to 40% cost savings compared to the latest models and an RMA of less than 3%.