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a solidarity business initiative to reduce the digital divide

Sustainable digitalization: a united business initiative to reduce the digital divide

A large alliance of entities is meeting to promote a new edition of the Sustainable Digitization campaign, which on this occasion wants to involve the commercial fabric of the whole State by carrying out a selective collection of electronic devices in work centers with the aim of solidarity: reduce the gap. contribute to the promotion of universal access to technology.

The original idea came from the hypermarket and supermarket company Alcampo, which offered the Ecotic Foundation a separate collection of computers and tablets in companies. Based on this proposal, Fundacin CEOE and the main collective extended producer responsibility systems (SCRAP) in the field of electronic recycling (Fundacin Ecotic, Ambilamp, Ecoasimelec, Ecofimtica, Fundacin Ecolec, Ecolum and ERP Espaa), have decided to ‘join forces to promote a campaign of solidarity at the state level, with the collaboration of the ecoinnovacinindity study of the SEUR Foundation.

The main objective of the campaign is to give a second life to the wasted computers and tablets brought by companies, as well as to encourage donations of new equipment that can be manufactured, in order to help people with difficult access to technology, and in turn reduce waste production to protect the environment.

For this, the computers and tablets collected will be reconditioned and delivered to education and training centers, minors and people in danger of exclusion, homes for the elderly and other people and groups in need.

The CEOE Foundation is overseeing the sustainable digitization campaign as part of its “Companies that help” project, which aims to coordinate solidarity initiatives to deal with the crisis caused by Covid-19. Donations of refurbished devices will be made through NGOs with which the Spanish Employers’ Foundation usually collaborates, which will grant participating companies that request a donation certificate accrediting the delivered equipment.

CEOE President Antonio Garamendi encouraged businesses and freelancers to join this initiative, while “helping to advance various objectives: reducing the production of electronic waste and its environmental impact or promoting the circular economy”. Up to five sustainable development goals can be achieved through these actions, he said before stressing that the project is “focused on social action to reduce the digital divide”.

The collective systems involved will make available to all companies participating in the campaign containers for the selective collection of disused devices, which can be provided both by the business addresses themselves and by their employees at the private level.

Andreu Vil, Managing Director of Fundacin Ecotic, underlined that “the achievement of the sustainability of the environment and of the production system depends in large part on a real commitment from the commercial fabric more focused on a collaborative than competitive economy. , where ethical values ​​go beyond the strict. commercial criteria, and which are now more necessary than ever ”. For this reason, he considers that “promoting initiatives such as this edition of the sustainable digitization campaign, and being able to do so with the support and commitment of a reference entity such as the CEOE Foundation, is a key element for make the necessary alliances that the Goals require. of sustainable development ”.

The SEUR Foundation will be responsible for the distribution of reconditioned equipment between the aforementioned social entities. “The unique name of Sustainable Digitization already invites us to participate in the action, since, of the two fundamental activities, technical and logistics, the second is our mission. Our aim is to pay attention to disadvantaged groups in all circumstances, especially childhood, through the provision of solidarity logistics services ”, said Ramn Mayo, President of the SEUR Foundation.

For its part, the ecoinnovacinindit study will put the environmental figures of the participants in the campaign. “We will be in charge of calculating the carbon footprint savings of the recovery and packaging process for donated computers,” said Gabriela Benveniste, Entity Project Manager. The design office will provide an accreditation document for the study carried out, which will be used by the Collective Systems to provide companies that have contributed equipment to the project with a document indicating the reduction of their carbon footprint based on the equipment donated by each of them.

With this action, the driving and collaborating entities want to contribute effectively to reducing the digital divide, by promoting the development of the circular economy through the collection and reconditioning of devices or their proper recycling when this is not feasible, promoting the ‘access technology and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) included in the United Nations 2030 agenda.

The organizers are calling on all committed companies to do their part to ensure that the campaign reaches all corners of the state because, as they point out, “together we can bridge the digital divide”.

Companies wishing to join sustainable digitization can do so through the website www.digitalysostenible.com

Shared commitment

The solidarity collection action aims to give a boost to the circular economy because, as its organizers say, “the best waste is that which is not generated”. Reuse and recycling are two key elements for the development of a more efficient and sustainable production model, which minimizes the use of limited natural resources and has environmental protection as a priority, and for this it is essential to ‘have the participation of companies.

“Given the difficult situation many citizens find themselves in today, the recycling industry can and should lead by example with actions like this, because this is how we can help bridge the divide. digital technology in the most vulnerable groups. A refurbished and well-used computer or tablet can be a window for a student to follow their telematics courses or for an elderly person to communicate with theirs, ”said Juan Carlos Enrique, CEO of Ambilamp.

For Jos Prez, CEO of Recyclia, the management entity of Ecoasimelec, Ecofimtica and Ecolum, “the health and economic crisis we are going through has further highlighted and worsened the existing digital divide in our country. Hence the importance of promoting a project like this one which, in addition to helping to reduce this inequality of opportunity, makes it possible to deal with the problem posed by the proliferation of electronic waste, by favoring their reuse and recycling ”.

Luis Moreno, Managing Director of FundacinEcolec, declared that “we are very committed to all actions that involve sustainability and solidarity, and when we were offered to participate in this initiative, we had no doubts. This action is also in line with the spirit of our #GreenSoul, which we launched last June on the occasion of World Environment Day, with a clear desire to contribute to the fight against the climate crisis and to promote the achievement of development objectives. Sustainable “.

Laura Alonso, Managing Director of the European Recycling Platform (ERP) in Spain, underlined that from the platform “we always bet on actions of a social nature that enrich and complement our environmental and sustainable development mission, because for us the two commitments are very connected and mutually empowering ”. According to him, “this action is an extraordinary example of how environmental protection and social inclusion can be combined”.

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