Computer recycler wins Queens Award for Sustainable Development


Source: RDC

Sustainable Development Queen’s Award for Computer Refurbishers RDC

Computer reuse and recycling specialist RDC have won their second Queen’s Award for Enterprise, this time in the Sustainable Development Category. RDC is Europe’s leading IT reuse and recycling specialists, having processed more than five million items or 50,000 tons of computer equipment in less than ten years – more than a million items last year alone. RDC is part of Computacenter, the UK & European computer services & solutions provider.

The Queens Award Office said of RDC, one of only ten winners in the Sustainable Development category: - “Computer reuse and recycling business RDC, receives the award for their outstanding commitment to sustainability, successfully marrying commercial success with a highly progressive sustainability agenda. Their governance and performance provides an exemplar benchmark for commercially successful, sustainable business operations. RDC is a highly proactive and engaged company demonstrating best practice in terms of both its core business activity and the sustainable management of its operations and that of its supply chain, with strong environmental performance being mirrored by commendable social sustainability initiatives. RDC’s approach to sustainability leadership also demonstrates its commitment to proactively considering all aspects of sustainability with the tangible benefits to its stakeholders that this brings.”

This award adds to RDC’s 2002 Queens Award for Enterprise for Innovation, for developing the IT asset management business model that has formed the basis for the Essex company’s success as Europe’s leading IT reuse and recycling business.

Winning this award is a proud achievement for RDC. “We are thrilled to be one of only ten companies in the UK to be recommended for this prestigious award. The Queens Award for Enterprise for Sustainable Development is a fantastic achievement that everyone in RDC can share and is a great addition to our 2002 Queens Award for Enterprise for Innovation.” says Gerry Hackett, Managing Director.

Sustainable Development is concerned with combining economic success with responsible environmental behaviour whilst making a positive contribution to the community in which we live.

RDC started in 1992 with 3 employees and have grown profitably to 2008, with a turnover of £25million and more than 200 people working from 180,000 square feet facilities in Witham, Essex, and operations near Cologne and Paris. Reuse and remarketing of computers generates significant revenues for former users of used IT - proving green business can be good business. RDC sells refurbished computers to nearly 50 countries, after first testing the equipment is electrically safe, functional and eradicating previous users’ data held on computer memory using software approved for this purpose by H M Government’s security services.

RDC’s computer reuse and recycling has a hugely beneficial Environmental impact” says Gary Griffiths, RDC Head of Sustainable Development. “RDC exceeds the EU targets of 75% recovery of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) with a mass balance of the weight of the 100% of materials recovered from the waste stream.“ Since 2002, RDC has reported zero landfill on IT waste, some of which is hazardous to human health and the natural environment. Gary adds “Over 98% of packaging and general waste is recycled, the amount of material disposed of to landfill accounting for less than 1 percent of material handled by RDC.”

In 2004 RDC formed a groundbreaking partnership with Mill Race IT, a social firm committed to creating employment and training opportunities for people disadvantaged in the labour market. Through computer refurbishment they provide the social skills and confidence to encourage a return to full time employment. RDC provides Mill Race IT with the RDC database, procedures, tools and advice plus recycles their waste IT.

Social responsibility also involves acting locally and thinking globally, RDC work with Microsoft in helping set up IT refurbishment centres in developing countries. Using tools, equipment, procedures and training provided by RDC, computer refurbishment service centres - smaller scale versions of RDC - have been set up in Namibia, South Africa and Uganda with ongoing interest in more than twenty countries in all parts of the globe.

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