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The four-year contract is worth around €30 million and will allow around 60,000 remanufactured laptops to be purchased Alamy Stock Photo
carbon reduction

‘First of its kind’ procurement arrangement allows public bodies to buy remanufactured laptops

Paschal Donohoe said the scheme is part of the government’s ‘transition to a low carbon society’.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS launched a new framework to allow public bodies to buy remanufactured laptops in what’s been described as the “first arrangement of its kind in the EU”.

It was previously advised that public bodies should always buy new products, however all public service bodies will now be able to buy a remanufactured alternative.

The contract has an estimated value of up to €30 million and it’s thought that over the four-year term, around 60,000 remanufactured laptops could be bought over new ones.

A spokesperson for the Department of Public Expenditure said the arrangement “fully supports the circular economy objectives set out in the Green Public Procurement Strategy and Action Plan”.

This Action Plan is the government’s attempt to move to a more “sustainable pattern of production and consumption”.

The spokesperson pointed to a peer-reviewed scientific study by Cranfield University, which found that choosing a remanufactured laptop over a new laptop prevents around 316 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions.

The study also found that over 190,000 litres of water is saved from being used for the extraction, refining and production a one new device and its components.

This means the estimated 60,000 remanufactured laptops that could be purchased by the new framework would equate to a reduction of 19 million kilograms of carbon dioxide, 72 million kilograms of mined resource preservation and 11 billion litres of water saved.

Remanufacturing also avoids the e-waste from the disposal of devices.

The Department spokesperson also noted that the scheme involves remanufactured, rather than refurbished, laptops.

Remanufacturing is the process of returning the laptop to at least its original performance, with a warranty that is equivalent or better than that of a newly manufactured product.

To do this, laptops are broken down into their constituent parts and tested, and failed components are then remanufactured with suitable parts.

Refurbished laptops however only have their failed components replaced and may not go through a step-by-step quality control process.

A Department spokesperson said the “end user experience is the same as with a new machine” and remanufactured laptops are around 30% cheaper than the newly manufactured equivalent.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe the measure will support “our ambitions to transition to a low-carbon society”.

Donohoe said this is the “first such framework to be established by a central purchasing body in the EU and offers significant environmental benefits, including carbon reduction and resource and water savings as well as value for money”.

Meanwhile, Minister of State with responsibility for public procurement and circular economy Ossian Smyth said the arrangement offer the public sector a way to “save money and avoid waste”.

The contract has been awarded to Green IT, an Irish SME who tendered as the lead entity in consortium with Circular Computing, a UK based company specialising in the remanufacturing of enterprise grade laptops.

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