3stepIT Annual Report 2020 design review June 18 v2 - Report - Page 43
We believe that everyone has a role in combatting climate change, and at 3stepIT
we take that responsibility very seriously. So do our customers. They tell us they only
want to work with the greenest businesses, and we agree. Throughout 2020 we
worked hard to reduce our impact and improve our efficiency – always trying to do
more with less.
Reducing packaging waste
In 2019, we piloted a new Repair
Programme to reuse parts from
unrepairable devices. Our scale,
innovations and sophisticated stock
control made it economically viable,
so, in 2020, we rolled it out across our
To reduce waste and minimise the
environmental footprint of packaging, we
reuse incoming plastic packaging for the
refurbished product leaving our centres.
The objective behind the Repair Programme is two-fold:
Nearly all our sites are ISO 14001 certified. This is the international standard for effective environmental management and
requires demonstrable annual progress.
In 2019, five out of six of our ISO 14001 certified locations used only green electricity, but we wanted to go further. We set
ourselves a target for all sites to be powered by green electricity, converting the remaining electricity supply at our facility
in Vantaa in October 2020.
Source of electricity
Helsinki HQ, Finland
Water & wind power
Tampere, R&D, Finland
Stockholm HQ, Sweden
In both Sweden and Norway, we will be moving our
refurbishing centres in 2021, with new locations designed
to accommodate our growth. These locations have been
chosen to meet our rigorous sustainability standards and
will allow us to make even greater gains in our energy
conservation in the coming years.
ISO 14001 certified
• Upgrade more devices during their restoration,
increasing their utility and resale value
• Repair damaged devices that would have otherwise
We began the pilot in our Klavreström Refurbishment
Centre in Sweden, providing space and a small workforce
who we trained in making repairs. When a device cannot
be repaired, we harvest it for parts to fix others. The aim
was to eliminate waste and develop a process that was
as easy as possible to follow, so it could be implemented
across our other markets. As the programme progressed,
the repair team developed new techniques and were able
to repair more devices. During the pilot, we repaired more
than 3,000 devices – a huge success - and so we decided
to roll it out to all our European refurbishment centres.
This idea was conceived by one employee, supported
by management and then rolled out across our global
business. It has fostered a sense of innovation and an
excitement about putting forward new ideas. It has
enhanced our culture of continuous improvement and
we regularly see people from all parts of the company
developing new ways to reduce waste and improve our
performance for customers.
Focused on long-term efficiency, we are continuously
improving our systems to reduce energy waste, including
measures to enhance scheduling and minimise overnight
energy consumption. By increasing production volumes
at our refurbishing centres, we have also reduced energy
consumption per unit produced and we are proud to see
the kWh/unit decline year on year in our operations.
To further improve shipping densities and save material,
3stepIT has developed smart packaging for IT equipment.
This maximises the use of space while protecting
equipment during transportation. We educate our
customers and logistics partners to work with these
methods, increasing efficiency across our operations.
The circular economy in action
The teams in our refurbishing centres
wear uniforms with a green twist –
recycled, recyclable and biodegradable
The uniforms, supplied by Houdini Sportswear, are a
fantastic example of the circular economy in action.
Houdini have committed to repair any wear and tear –
giving our uniforms a second life! When a garment is
beyond repair, the material is used to make a new shirt or
composted for gardening. It’s just one of the ways we are
working to eliminate waste wherever we find it.
In 2020, we have repaired
over 22,000 devices.
Of these, a quarter were saved from
having to be recycled for scrap, with the
remaining devices upgraded.
Energy use for device refurbishing in Klavreström
kWh / unit
This table shows consistent improvement in energy use per refurbished device. This is currently only measured at our
refurbishing centre in Sweden, with the intention to extend the measurement to all European refurbishing centres.
Our Repair Programme
Saved from recycle
Finding new ways to optimise
The Vantaa refurbishing centre recently acquired a
new waste sorting station and the team now sort
energy waste (residual waste that can’t be recycled
but can be generated into energy) and organic
waste, in addition to recycling glass, metal and
cardboard. Any packing materials from incoming
shipments are kept and reused in outgoing
shipments – this includes clean kraft papers, pallet
films and packaging plastics.