Royal Mail has donated nearly 3,000 used PCs and laptops to charity for use in education and health projects in developing countries.
Through the Royal Mail's outsourcing supplier CSC, the organisation has provided 2,986 computers to Computer Aid International, having replaced the PCs as part of a major desktop refresh programme. The move is part of Royal Mail's corporate social responsibility plan.
The systems have been donated over an eight-month period and are being used by schools and charitable organisations in Malawi, Namibia, Ethiopia and Chile. Computer Aid tracks each PC, laptop and monitor, enabling feedback to donors on exactly which projects their PCs are sent to.
"Donating equipment to Computer Aid is extremely worthwhile, as the PCs and laptops that we make redundant will often have many more years of useful life in disadvantaged communities," said Royal Mail IT director Carol Olney.
"By donating the PCs to charity, everyone wins. Computer Aid provides an environmentally responsible way for us to dispose of our redundant equipment while enabling us to help disadvantaged communities abroad who may otherwise have been unable to afford the equipment."
Each PC and laptop donated by Royal Mail was refurbished and data-wiped to UK and US top-level security standards, using Kroll Ontrack data-wiping at the Computer Aid London headquarters. The charity also provides donors with proof of compliance with relevant UK legislation, such as the Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Directive and the Data Protection Act.
"By donating its PCs to Computer Aid, Royal Mail are playing a vital role in helping to strengthen disadvantaged communities in developing countries and in giving the opportunity of an ICT education to children and young people, who wouldn't normally have this opportunity," said Anja ffrench, director of communications at Computer Aid.
"Donating unwanted IT to Computer Aid is a very simple yet very effective way for organisations to make a big contribution to poverty alleviation initiatives while at the same time ensuring that they are doing the most environmentally responsible thing with their unwanted equipment."