Save the Planet With Your Next Used iPhone
Are used iPhones better for the environment?
Published January 13, 2023 - How Back Market gives back
Our mission at Back Market is to build trust and desire for renewed devices. While a lot goes into that on the business side, making the world a better place in more ways than one is a given. We focus on giving back in two ways. The first is what we as a company can do — from financial to programmatic support. We prioritize environmental causes and causes close to our work in the refurbishment industry. The second is how we can empower our employees to do so in their own communities.
For many years we focused on financial gifts to organizations that we felt were in line with our mission. In order to maximize our impact, we’ve started building long-term partnerships with organizations: Closing the Loop Foundation and Emmaüs Connect, and CFA Ducretet.
Minimizing the creation of e-waste is close to our heart at Back Market. E-waste, or electronic waste, is any piece of tech that is tossed before its time is up. It’s the leading solid-waste stream globally, outpacing fast fashion, and unfortunately, a lot of it ends up in our landfills and leaks toxic chemicals into our soil and water.
E-waste dumping heavily impacts the countries that mine or produce the materials to manufacture brand new tech. Since 2021, we’ve partnered with the CTL Foundation, a Dutch organization dedicated to transforming the byproducts of the electronics industry into opportunities in Africa. Through the CTL Foundation, we’re able to support e-waste cleanup, create jobs locally, and help communities safely handle e-waste recycling and disposal.
In an increasingly digital world, a lack of fluency in digital tools can mean increasing isolation and economic hardship. Not being able to use a smartphone shouldn’t be an obstacle to finding a job, video chatting loved ones, or making a doctor’s appointment — but for many, it is.
Since 2021, we have partnered with Emmaüs Connect to help folks from underserved communities train in digital skills. From the elderly to underserved neighborhoods, Emmaüs Connect teaches the digital skills necessary to function in our world, empowering people through their program to build community connections. Digital is our world — and anyone who wants to be a part of it should have access.
In 2022, alongside our insurance providers Cardif and Bolttech, we partnered with CFA Ducretet, a refurbishment skills training center to sponsor a vocational training program called Re.Purpose Careers. Over the course of 13 months, this workforce reintegration program gives participants the skills necessary to become professional tech refurbishers, and culminates in an apprenticeship at the refurbishment center. Graduates leave the program with a specialized skill set — and a promising career ahead of them.
Our employees have their own lives (and we like it that way). We want to give them the time to honor causes that mean something to them in their personal lives — which can be hard to fit in around a 9-to-5. In that spirit, Back Market has two annual “protesting days” our employees can use to support their community and planet.
There’s one protesting day that’s company-wide, called the “Founders Protesting Day.” As a company, we take the day off work to participate in causes that align with our mission — like taking to the streets for the 2022 World Climate Strike.
The second is exercised individually. From serving meals to our unhoused neighbors, walking dogs at a local animal shelter, or showing up at a union rally — our employees can take the time to be a force for good in their own communities. Additionally, some of our offices choose to flex this second day as a group, organizing an office-wide day to take off work and show up in their local community.
As a company, we’re walking the walk as best we can. That means we know we won’t get it perfect every time. We’re always looking critically at our efforts in order to make our impact more impact-y. You can follow us on LinkedIn, where we share updates on our philanthropic initiatives. See ya there.
Our mission is to make renewed tech mainstream. Turning old into "new new", so to speak.
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Are used iPhones better for the environment?
For every phone accessory sold, we donate at least $1 to PUR Project to help the village of Pejarakan manage and recycle its waste and revitalize their environment. The funds will allow PUR Project to continue the pilot program they started in Batu Ampar Banjar, a small section of Pejarakan.
The production and end-of-life disposal of our smartphones, computers and other modern tech have a dramatic impact on the environment, which can often be overlooked when compared to other environmental issues. Half of the carbon emissions from the digital sector (making up 4% of global emissions) come from the production of devices like these, and buying them refurbished, while not a perfect solution, can help to significantly limit their environmental impact. We’d like to tell you a little more about that.
Unless you act fast your ownership rights over your devices may soon be limited. Big tech companies are currently lobbying to restrict your ability to repair or modify electronic equipment—including things like your tablets, smartphones, laptops and more.
...and a whole lot of nothing. Oops, sweet nothings. To show you in some small way that we care, because we totally do.
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