Business leaders in Coventry and Warwickshire have called for more local organisations to help improve education access in developing countries and also do their bit in helping the environment.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce has urged Chamber members and local businesses to stop throwing away their old IT systems and make use of an eco-friendly service that repurposes used computing hardware to boost education access for deprived children in Africa.

SawiTECH, which helps organisations and businesses improve their corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability by collecting old IT assets and securely wiping data, has joined the Chamber in a regional request for obsolete computer equipment to improve online learning resources across rural primary schools in Zimbabwe.

The Coventry-based business, which is registered with the Environment Agency and the Information Commissioner’s Office, safely wipes hard drives that are no longer being used by education providers and other organisations which have replaced or updated their equipment.

The towers and monitors which are still fit for purpose are then loaded with new software before being distributed for use by school students globally.

The process, which includes free collection, is GDPR compliant and delivered using industry-leading data destruction software. Organisations who use the service then receive a full audit report and data disposal certificate.

Peaceful Chimbwanda, Asset Recovery Manager at SawiTECH, said: “We work with a range of schools and colleges and are looking at ways we can help more local businesses make a real difference to the planet by cutting down on synthetic waste and using their position of privilege to give back to those who might be without computer access.

“The more equipment we receive, the better chance we have of reaching more locations across the likes of Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.

“The process is completely free and available to any organisation, regardless of its size or location, and it is our goal to help more business leaders take CSR and environmental sustainability seriously, while providing a helping hand to children in developing countries.

“The Chamber has been incredibly helpful in supporting us with our marketing and growing our regional connections, and we are delighted that they are also pushing for more businesses to make use of our free service.”

SawiTECH has safely recycled and repurposed a collection of the Chamber’s old IT assets in recent months, including PC towers, laptops and mobile phones.

Keely Hancox, Operations Manager at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are urging all local businesses to think about ways they can be more environmentally friendly, and SawiTECH is offering a timely solution that can have a widespread positive impact.

“Data is a huge concern of all modern businesses, and we were extremely impressed by the level of security offered by SawiTECH throughout the process.

“Not only is it a great service from a practical perspective, but the work that SawiTECH does to ensure that new end users can be found for old equipment, as well as its links to education providers in developing countries, means that it is offering something crucial at a time when sustainability should be on everyone’s mind, including business leaders.”