Veolia computers recycled so that they can be reused

Veolia’s end-of-life-cycle computer equipment is now being given a fresh lease of life. Ateliers Sans Frontières, a subsidiary of the Ares back-to-work group, refurbishes the computers so that they can be reused. Several charities and hundreds of schoolchildren across the world will then benefit from the refurbished computers.
Ateliers sans frontières

Social and Employment


Ludovic Chauveau

€90,000 over three years at the 27/6/16 Board.

Project leader

Ateliers sans frontière

“This initiative has a two-fold social impact. Firstly, when refurbishing the computers - through its back-to-work scheme, ASF gets back into work people who have lost touch with the job market. Secondly, once the equipment has been refurbished, the project benefits schoolchildren, students, young people and women who are on the wrong side of the digital divide."
Dominique Boizeau
Fondation Veolia

Veolia changes its computers every four years. The Information Systems Department (ISD) is tasked with renewing the hardware and has become involved, with the support of the Foundation, in a computer recycling programme. The computers still work, despite reaching the age limit.
The Veolia Foundation has supported the ISD and has entrusted the task of preparing this equipment for reuse to Ateliers Sans Frontières (ASF), a subsidiary of the Ares back-to-work group specializing in WEEE recycling, meaning that these PCs can enjoy a new lease of life. Suitable computers[1] are refurbished as follows: data saved on the hard drive is deleted, repairs are carried out if necessary, and an operating system and office applications are installed.

Veolia RVD France’s IT department has got involved in the Veolia SA initiative, enabling around 1,500 computers to potentially be donated between now and 2018. Over the course of three years, 500 computers a year will be refurbished in ASF’s workshops and will then be transported, thanks to the Foundation’s support, to a charity in need of them, with the first batch being sent to Madagascar.

ASF – the IT equipment refurbishment specialists

ASF was founded in 2003 and helps socially excluded people to get back to work and integrate society. This ARES Group subsidiary specializes in collecting and refurbishing used computer equipment, providing an affordable IT alternative for social and humanitarian projects in France and abroad. ASF collects computers no longer wanted by businesses but which are recent enough to work well when reused. The refurbishment work is then done in the organization’s own workshops by deprived people, thus giving them specialized know-how and the chance to rebuild their lives. Finally, ASF delivers these computers to regions in which a large swathe of the population is unable to access these products.

In 2016, the first batch of refurbished computers was donated to Opta[2] in Madagascar to equip three technical training institutions and several associations delivering vocational training to women and rural young people. The country is lagging far behind in education: 41% of children of school age in urban areas and 56% in rural areas are not in education. In addition, 12% of adults living in urban areas and 35% in rural areas are illiterate.[3] Opta works with user associations (parents, pupils, teachers and the public services) to set up the computers and organize training. This initiative is part of a national programme designed to definitively address the aforementioned issues. Next year, other charities will benefit from the initiative set up by the Veolia Foundation.


[1] Unusable computers are dismantled in line with stringent safety requirements.

[2] Olom Pirenena Tompon’Andraikitra (Responsible Citizens in English).

[3] 2001 figures