Survey: Refurbished IT is becoming Socially Acceptable

Survey: Refurbished IT is becoming Socially Acceptable

According to Bitkom, almost one in seven companies already uses refurbished end devices. A further 15 per cent are about to do so.

Whether smartphones, monitors or laptops – for an increasing number of companies in Germany, electronic and digital devices do not always have to be new. Already 15 per cent are using used but professionally refurbished IT: 5 per cent already in many areas of the company, 10 per cent in individual cases.

A further 15 per cent of companies are considering the use of refurbished IT (2022: 13 per cent). This is the result of a survey of more than 500 companies in Germany with 20 or more employees, which was conducted on behalf of the industry association Bitkom.

Expandable incentives

In 2022, just four per cent of companies stated that they only used refurbished IT in individual cases. ” We need to generate less electronic waste in Germany and Europe. It helps to use IT devices for longer. With refurbished IT, companies can improve their environmental footprint and save money at the same time,” says Bitkom CEO Bernhard Rohleder.

For companies that do not yet use refurbished IT, greater incentives are needed in most cases: 61 per cent would use such devices if there were more tax or financial benefits. 30 per cent would like to be able to report the resulting CO2 savings in their sustainability reports.

For a majority of 75 per cent, however, a long warranty or guarantee would be a prerequisite for the use of refurbished IT, and for 61 per cent a sufficiently long supply of updates. “Since the introduction of the update obligation in 2022, many digital products and services have been regularly supplied with updates for longer than before,” Rohleder clarifies. “And some retailers for refurbished IT even go beyond the statutory periods for new products with their guarantee and warranty commitments.”

Digital Sustainability Summit

Overall, 75 per cent of all companies agree with the statement that the use of refurbished IT makes an important contribution to saving resources and raw materials. 61 per cent believe that as many companies as possible should at least consider using such devices. 56 per cent consider the use of refurbished IT to be an important topic for the future.

What contribution can digitalisation make to climate protection and sustainability? How can the carbon footprint of digital devices and applications be reduced? These and other questions will be addressed at Bitkom’s Digital Sustainability Summit on 10 April 2024 in Berlin. The summit will bring together innovators from the digital industry, the sustainability community, academia and policymakers. They will discuss concrete solutions for companies and the state.