Ministers Donohoe and Smyth welcome new procurement arrangement for remanufactured laptops

17th June, 2024

The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) has launched a new framework that allows public bodies to purchase remanufactured laptops. This is the first arrangement of its kind in the EU and can be availed of by all public service bodies regardless of size. 

The contract has an estimated value of up to €30 million and fully supports the circular economy objectives set out in the Green Public Procurement Strategy and Action Plan 2024-2027.   

The laptops are subject to rigorous manufacturing and testing standards and devices supplied under the new framework come with up to three years of warranty. 

Minister for Public Expenditure NDP Delivery and Reform, Paschal Donohoe TD, welcomed the arrangement saying: 

“The National Development Plan outlined our ambitions to transition to a low- carbon society and this framework supports this. 

“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.”  

Minister of State with responsibility for public procurement and circular economy Ossian Smyth TD, welcomed the arrangement saying: 

“The public sector now has a way to buy remanufactured laptops from a trusted source, saving money and avoiding waste. This is a change from previous rules that advised always to buy new products. I’m delighted to see this progress.” 

The cost of a remanufactured notebook is, on average, 30% lower than the newly manufactured equivalent. This arrangement supports commitments in the Programme for Government  aimed at ensuring public procurement leads the transition to the Circular Economy. 

Notes

  • The Office of Government Procurement (OGP) is a division of the Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform and plays a central role in helping the State to achieve value for money when buying common goods and services on behalf of the public sector.
  • The contract for this arrangement 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. The devices are remanufactured and not refurbished, they are subject to rigorous manufacturing and testing standards. 
  • End user experience is the same as with a new machine. There is no change in the aesthetics, quality or performance of the laptop.  

According to a peer-reviewed scientific study by Cranfield University, there are significant environmental benefits to choosing remanufactured devices over newly manufactured devices. 

Each time a remanufactured laptop is chosen over a new laptop;

  • Approximately 316kg of CO2 emissions are prevented; 
  • Over 190,000 litres of water is saved from being used for extraction, refining and production of one new device and its components. That is enough drinking water for over 260 years for the average person. 
  • Approximately 1,200kg of Earth’s resources are not required to be mined, refined or consumed  

It is estimated that over the lifetime of the contract approximately 60,000 remanufactured laptops could be bought over new laptops. This equates to a reduction of 19 million Kgs CO2, 72 million Kgs of mined resource preservation and 11 billion litres of water not used.  

Remanufacturing not only prevents the consumption of resources, but also avoids the e-waste from the disposal of devices. The CO2 saving alone is equivalent to taking 1,200 cars off the road for each year of this contract.

What is the difference between remanufacturing and refurbishing?

Remanufacturing

In this contract all laptops meet the BSI Kitemark standard for “Remanufacturing”.  Remanufacturing is the process of returning a used product to at least its original performance with a warranty that is equivalent or better than that of a newly manufactured product.  Laptops are broken down into their constituent parts, cleaned, tested, repainted etc.  Then using a combination of suitable parts, remanufacturing sees the rebuilding of a product through a 360 stage process. The BSI Kitemark standard requires that this process restore products to a like-new quality in both their performance and appearance.  

Refurbishing

For the avoidance of doubt, “Refurbished” Notebooks are not in scope.  Refurbished Notebooks may or may not go through a step by step quality control process.  This method may return a product to a satisfactory working condition but has not been subject to the stringent requirements of the remanufacturing process and does not result in certification of a quality standard.  While a limited warranty is sometimes provided, refurbished products do not come with a warranty that is equivalent or better than that of a newly manufactured product nor do they come in the numbers/scale or with the levels of reliability required to satisfy the requirements of ICT departments in the Irish Public Sector.  

How many laptops are envisaged under the €30m contract?

In the region of 60,000 laptops can be procured up to the €30 million value of the framework over its 4 year term.  The contract allows for varied configurations and specifications, depending on the requirement of the purchaser.

ENDS