Sustainable and social: Caritas Upper Austria receives 20 refurbished notebooks from Interseroh Austria & AfB


Normally, these notebooks would have been disposed of if AfB and Interseroh Austria had not taken an initiative to save them.


Linz. At the end of May 2022, the notebooks refurbished by AfB were handed over to Caritas Upper Austria in Linz. Edgar Gratzer, Head of the Training Department of Caritas Upper Austria, accepted the devices at Café Carla:



“I am pleased that these notebooks have been donated to us for two reasons. Many of our customers hardly have access to such devices. Here they can independently try out, learn and make sense of new applications that don’t work on smartphones. All areas to increase independence. And in my role as environmental management officer for the EMAS-certified St. Elisabeth site, I’m happy to be able to set a nice example here, too: Things that are no longer so serviceable for some are refurbished, and in turn offer great value to others.”

Edgar Gratzer, Caritas Upper Austria, Head of the Training Department


The notebooks, which will not be “old hat” for a long time to come, were presented by Jürgen Münzner, AfB Sales Manager for Upper Austria, Andreas Schmidt, AfB Partner Manager for Upper Austria, and Wolfgang Rabl, Head of Sales at Interseroh Austria, which, as a disposal and recycling partner, initiated this project for active waste avoidance together with AfB.


This special cooperation to promote sustainability came about through the long-standing partnership between AfB and Interseroh Austria in the area of waste electrical equipment disposal:



“Interseroh Austria is committed to making a sustainable contribution to socially disadvantaged people. The reprocessing of IT hardware that has already been written off also makes an active contribution to reducing our ‘footprint’ for the next generation. Thanks to AfB and their commitment in Austria.”

Wolfgang Rabl, Interseroh Austria, Head of Sales

The constant exchange between experts from the two companies offered the opportunity to return notebooks that would not have been economically remanufactured under normal circumstances because they were already too old, for example, to the product cycle as part of a sponsored initiative to avoid waste – and to donate them to a good cause on several levels at the same time.


From learning to interpreting: the new use of the donated equipment


Thus, even during remanufacturing at AfB, the equipment was used by employees to learn and practice technical skills. But their future destination is even more diverse:



“I am very pleased that AfB is able to support young people with disabilities in particular, who might not otherwise have easy access to notebooks, and that they are thus given access to learning with digital media. It’s a great opportunity to create a basis for these young people to use their strengths to become valuable and important employees in their adult working lives, in companies like AfB, even with an impairment/disability.”

Jürgen Münzner, AfB Sales Manager Upper Austria


At Caritas Upper Austria, the (almost again) new devices are used for training and teaching purposes: for training media competence as well as for basic IT training. People with hearing disabilities will be helped by the notebooks in the classroom, with video interpreters plugged in remotely. And they also find a new home in Caritas residential groups in St. Isidor – for Internet research and learning games.


Value creation beyond the material


The fact that sustainability is also promoted on a social level within the framework of this project through the specific use of the refurbished notebooks is particularly in line with the broad responsibility of which all actors – Caritas, AfB and Interseroh – are aware.


AfB – Europe’s largest non-profit IT company


AfB GmbH – – is Europe’s largest non-profit IT company and creates valuable jobs for people with disabilities by recycling and selling used IT and mobile equipment.


Companies and cooperation partners use AfB’s core services by leaving their IT hardware that is no longer needed to AfB at the end of its lifecycle. Old equipment is collected by AfB from companies throughout Austria, inventoried, deleted in a revision and EU-DSGVO compliant manner using Blancco certified, repaired, tested, cleaned and then remarketed with a guarantee of at least 12 months. Alternatively, old equipment is professionally dismantled and disposed of.


In this way, a total of over 58,600 IT and mobile devices were handled by AfB in Austria in 2021, moving over 225 tons of equipment.


In terms of resource savings from processing and remarketing, this corresponded to, among other things.


  • 5,300 metric tons of CO2 (equivalents)
  • 3,300 tons of iron (equivalents)
  • 20,000 megawatt hours of energy
  • 38 million liters of water


AfB appliances at reasonable prices are particularly appreciated by people from socially weaker income groups, or people for whom the economical use of resources is a special concern. But so do companies, educational institutions, NGOs and non-profit organizations, which benefit from the favorable prices for IT hardware.


Interseroh Austria – Resource Optimization for 25 Years


Interseroh Austria, operator of a collection and recycling system based in Vienna since 1997, is a specialist for a sustainable circular economy with the corporate focus on licensing of packaging, waste electrical equipment and batteries, machine trading as well as disposal and recycling. For example, in 2021, 9,193 tons of waste electrical equipment and 413 tons of batteries were collected. 72% of end-of-life devices were recycled or reused, and 88% of batteries were recycled.


In addition to disposal and recycling services, Interseroh is the exclusive Austrian partner for Sielaff reverse vending machines and deposit systems as well as for Orwak baling presses for the compaction of recyclable materials.


With the new Packaging Management and Packaging Design divisions, the challenge is met far at the beginning of the raw material cycle: Packaging and material analyses in our own laboratory as well as individual consulting by Interseroh specialists push the development of product packaging “Made for Recycling” that is characterized by a particularly high degree of recyclability – for responsible use of our resources.



In addition, Interseroh Austria supports companies of all sizes in the development and implementation of innovative waste prevention projects. Against this background, after many years of successful cooperation with AfB Austria in the recycling of old electrical equipment, site disposal and packaging licensing, the joint initiative was launched to ensure that donated notebooks do not become “electronic waste” but are processed and made usable far beyond their usual period of use.