The utility of virtue

Saving the planet

92% of the impact of digital technology comes from smartphones, personal computers and connected objects, with a predicted 45% increase in the CO2 footprint in 2030 compared with 2020 if nothing is done to limit this growth.

According to Ademe, a single refurbished phone saves the extraction of:

  • 76.9 kilos of ore 
  • 25 kilos of greenhouse gases per year of use. 

That's quite a lot! Each recycling action has a significant impact: the hummingbird's drop of water weighs almost 100 kilos!

Econocom recycled almost 500,000 digital tools by 2022, including 100,000 with Econocom Factory.

In concrete terms, the lifespan of each digital device we refurbish is extended by more than 50%.  40,000 tonnes of ore were kept underground, and more than 12 million tonnes of CO2 were not released into the atmosphere. It also means almost 120 quality jobs at Econocom Factory and dozens of spin-off jobs at our partners in the social economy (such as ASF in France).
This is just the beginning:  we aim to triple this activity by 2028.

Source : ADEME 2022

Refurbishing is the future

The refurbishing of digital hardware is the foundation upon which our company was built 50 years ago. It turned out to be the right intuition. Our rejection of programmed obsolescence and wasted resources has become a major trend in the market. The acceptability of second-hand hardware is growing as fast as the quality of the services that accompany it. This is a global trend, and so the market is still a promising one.

That's why we're more than ever focusing our efforts on consolidating our industrial capacity while resolutely supporting the responsible partner companies which are working with us to develop the circular economy. 

Refurbishing is the basis of responsible development.

One’s perspective...

Jean Loup de Reymaekert

Remarketing Director Econocom Belgium

Dispelling doubts about refurbishing

"We insist on the importance of the short circuit: collection, refurbishing, re-circulation through our European network. Prejudices relate to obsolescence, data security and potential incompatibility with recent software. Remarketing helps to overcome cultural barriers and promote environmental progress.“

What’s a remarketing director?

I’m in charge of managing IT assets at the end of their lifespan. My priority is to promote reuse of them, whether through refurbishing or reuse of spare parts.

How has your job changed in recent years?

Econocom has always managed devices at the end of their lifespan. Yet in recent years, the issue of the environment and reuse has played an ever more important role, creating new opportunities for Econocom to position itself as an expert in this field. The tools and methods for assessing, refurbishing and reselling devices have evolved. Special attention is now given to data security when devices at the end of their lifespan are managed.

Why did you choose Econocom to start with?

Working for Econocom is a choice that suits me perfectly. An entrepreneurial spirit, boldness, a capacity for adaptation, flexibility and a search for positive impact from the group are all factors in line with my own personality.

What attracts clients to contracts for refurbished devices?

There are several convincing reasons for firms to opt for refurbished devices:

- Attractive pricing: Refurbished devices are usually cheaper than their brand-new equivalents, while offering a comparable level of quality. Moreover, they often come with extended warranties that last as long as those that apply to brand-new devices, so firms can enjoy huge savings.
- Environmental commitment: Ever more firms are more aware of their impact. By opting for refurbished devices, firms can reduce their carbon footprint and help reduce e-waste while adopting a more responsible approach to the environment.
- Quality: Refurbished devices are usually tested and repaired by qualified teams to guarantee that they work properly.
- Immediate availability: Refurbished devices stand out for being quickly available. They’re in stock and ready to be sent in less than 48 hours. This meets the urgent needs of firms perfectly.
- Support for the local economy: We attach great importance to short supply chains: we collect devices in Belgium, refurbish them in Belgium too, and put them back onto the market through our vast European network.

Is a search for social and environmental impact starting to emerge?

We’ve indeed seen growing interest in these issues. We get many questions about these subjects. We’ve also noticed an increase in references to these issues in public calls for tender.

What obstacles need to be removed for these devices to be used even more?

There are several obstacles. These include the following:

- Negative prejudices about refurbished products and a fear they’ll be less reliable and of lower quality than brand new products.
- A fear that refurbished products will be obsolete or less effective than the latest models on the market.
- Concerns about security and data confidentiality. 
- Potential incompatibility with recent software.

What will the most buoyant offers and client needs be in coming years? What services do clients expect from us?

I’m strongly convinced that our clients expect from us a comprehensive solution that simplifies their experience: end-to-end assistance. We also need to take the environmental impact of devices into consideration by offering solutions and services that incorporate sustainability, while responsibly managing devices at the end of their lifespan.

Boldness, good faith and responsiveness are our three values. Which one of these values best fits your job? Please could you explain why?

In my job, you need to have all three of these values.


Selling refurbished devices requires boldness as it defies a cultural preference for brand-new products. We also need boldness to raise client awareness of the true value and quality of refurbished devices, while promoting an eco-friendly commitment.

Good faith:

You need good faith to inspire trust from clients, guarantee the quality and sustainability of products, and maintain a good reputation. You have to stay transparent to meet client needs.


Responsiveness in managing IT devices at the end of their lifespan is vital for protecting data, complying with regulations, maximising the value of assets, minimising the environmental impact and optimising resources.

We claim to be a company that’s responsible for its social and environmental impact. Does that change the way you work?

No, not really. Since I joined Econocom Belgium, we’ve been proudly emphasising the positive impact of our remarketing services as part of the circular economy. Our approach supports short supply chains. By using local resources, we’re making the local economy more dynamic, while greatly reducing our ecological impact. But our commitment isn’t limited to our in-house activities. It also includes the practices of our partners, for whom we continually work to improve procedures and reduce the overall impact. At Econocom Belgium, we strongly believe that business success can – and must – go hand in hand with an approach that’s eco-friendly and committed to social responsibility.


second hand circular economy Good faith
One digital company