Econocom acts alongside its clients – including EDF – and its partners Emmaüs Connect and Ateliers Sans Frontières to tackle the digital divide and help refugees reconnect

published on 06/07/2022

Econocom has announced it has donated 501 laptops to refugee families in France with help from its clients and its long-standing partners Ateliers Sans Frontières (ASF) and Emmaüs Connect. As a responsible digital entrepreneur, Econocom took this initiative in line with its commitment to inclusive digital technology accessible to all.


Econocom was keen to act in solidarity with families of refugees – especially Ukrainians – who had come to France, so it was interested in the call to action from Emmaüs Connect to provide these families with IT equipment so they could keep ties with loved ones, use a tool to look for work, or take lessons online. 


The Econocom group swung into action, asking its clients to help it donate 501 laptops. Many, including EDF, responded positively to this call to action. Ateliers Sans Frontières (ASF), an association that helps socially vulnerable people get into the world of work, will refurbish the collected laptops before they are redistributed by Emmaüs Connect, a key player in the fight to stop people in precarious situations getting shut out from digital technology. Emmaüs Connect previously helped Econocom donate 500 laptops during the Covid-19 crisis.


‘It seemed obvious to us that as a socially responsible firm we had to take part in this collective support for refugees – especially Ukrainians – by helping them connect with their loved ones and the world. That’s why we asked for help from our clients, who responded generously, for which I’d like to thank them,’ said Véronique di Benedetto, Vice President France of Econocom, in charge of Corporate Social Responsibility. 


Econocom has been a socially responsible firm ever since it was founded and it works hard for social inclusion through digital technology. The group has made this field a key pillar of its impact strategy, in partnership with its whole ecosystem (suppliers, clients, partners, etc.).


‘EDF is the first energy utility certified with France’s label for responsible digital technology. As part of this, we pay special attention to our IT equipment at the end of its lifespan. When this equipment isn’t sold, we regularly organise donation operations. In the space of six years, we’ve donated over 6,500 laptops to charities and local bodies who work on the ground to improve education, protect the environment and help socially vulnerable people get into the world of work. So when Econocom – a long-standing partner of EDF – asked us for help, we obviously responded positively right away!’, explained Karl Claerhout, EDF’s national coordinator for reusing IT equipment and donating to charities and local bodies at EDF’s division for IT and telecoms services.


‘This initiative is action-based proof that local structures are one of the solutions for making regions flexible and resilient in the face of social and environmental challenges that digital technology creates. Emmaüs Connect wants to make digital technology an opportunity for everyone by introducing its initiative nationwide and it’s pursuing its call for donations. As many as 1,300,000 people in the Île-de-France region are still shut out from digital technology as they can’t afford to get equipped. So we need generous initiatives like the one this group initiated,’ concluded Marie Cohen-Skalli, the director of Emmaüs-Connect.


« Cette mobilisation est la preuve par l'action que les filières locales sont une des réponses pour permettre aux territoires d’être souples et résilients face aux enjeux sociaux et environnementaux  posés par le numérique. A travers le déploiement de sur le territoire, Emmaüs Connect souhaite faire du numérique une chance pour tous, et poursuit son appel aux dons. Encore plus d’1 300 000 franciliens sont exclus du numérique faute de moyens pour s’équiper : nous avons donc besoin de mouvements de générosité tels que celui initié par ce collectif » conclut Marie Cohen-Skalli, Directrice Emmaüs-Connect.

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