Why IT Reuse Makes Education Sense and a Better Planet


Mark Fox - Camara Education


It is well known that our lifestyles generate CO2 emissions that are resulting in a planet that is warming.This is having a considerable negative impact borne out by recent extreme weather events that are increasing in frequency. This presentation will seek to outline the environmental and social benefits of reusing technology while also securely removing any trace of data on hard drives in an auditable fashion.

Environmental Impact of Reuse

Camara Education is a social enterprise that is an example of not only recycling in the traditional sense, using old materials to create new, but goes a step further by reusing computer equipment to provide lasting benefit to disadvantaged communities in the form of education. An educated populace also stands more chance of using their potential to do less damage to our planet. The presentation will demonstrate how the reuse of technology can help as a measure to mitigate the effect of climate change through deferring the release of the CO2 emissions required to manufacture computer equipment. The alternative of recycling results in the release of CO2 emissions and a poorer environmental outcome. Camara Education has refurbished over 100,000 computers and the presentation will outline their ‘preparation for reuse’ processes until the products are shipped.

Social Impact of Reuse

The presentation will refer to the social impact side of the reuse of technology and the enablement of the delivery of education programmes to disadvantaged learners. The reuse of technology also directly contributes to the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals such as Quality Education, Poverty Elimination, Responsible Consumption and Production and Climate Action. With regard to the provision of better quality education, 2 case studies of the beneficial impact on children’s education in Africa and Ireland will be outlined.

GDPR Compliant Data Erasure Processes

Secure, robust and auditable erasure of hard drive data is of critical importance to all education professionals responsible for the disposal of IT equipment. The need to be able to demonstrate GDPR compliance makes this a more pressing requirement. A key focus of the talk will be to provide assurance to the education community about the robustness of Camara Education's data erasure methods and services. This will refer to the level of proof of data erasure and certification that can be provided at a level of granularity that includes hard drive serial numbers. Independent proof of the efficacy of our data erasure methodology will also be presented.


There will be an analysis of how much computer equipment is recycled in the Higher Education sector that could be reused and what social and environmental benefits could be delivered if reuse rather than recycling became the norm. The impact of the Waste Framework Directive 2018 will be referenced and its likely impact on informing reuse targets for Ireland in the future.