The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Techbuyer is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | TECHBUYER
KevinTowers, managing director
Maintaining high levels of
immediately available stock has
been a pillar of recent success
As a worldwide specialist in the buying, refurbishment and
selling of servers, storage and networking equipment
for businesses, Techbuyer has always been aware of the
strong environmental benefits of reusing IT equipment. In the
past year it has worked with academics, accreditation bodies
and trade organisations to bring reuse into the mainstream of
corporate thinking. Growth is great, but sustainable growth is
an even greater prize. Managing director Kevin Towers explains
the company’s strategy.
Expansion and standardisation
We already operate in Germany and the US and Techbuyer will open offices in Australia
and New Zealand at the end of this year. In the past year the company has taken on
over 40 per cent more people and we believe there is scope for further expansion.
Recent growth illustrates how popular refurbishment can be when delivered as a
top-grade product. The prospect of saving up to 80 per cent on the retail price is
always very attractive; quality assurances and first class customer service inspire
confidence. We have found our message of low-cost, high-quality solutions to be
successful not just for smaller, cost-conscious organisations but across the board.
Our customer list includes large retailers and financial organisations along with big-
name universities, councils and medium-sized businesses.
Our approach has been to understand the concerns of our customers and be
proactive in addressing them. In-house guarantees and external accreditations have
helped inspire confidence and grow our customer base.
»Established in 2005
»Based in Harrogate, New
Jersey, Minnesota and Goch,
Germany; Australia and New
Zealand to open in September
refurbishment and sale of data
centre equipment – servers,
data storage, networking
equipment and spare parts
»No. of employees: 135
»Techbuyer erases data on over
10,000 hard drives per month
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
Techbuyer delivers a three-year
warranty as standard and a lifetime
warranty on request. This, along with
our exhaustive testing processes, allays
fears about product performance.
We address the challenge of data
security with data erasure software
that satisfies numerous international
standards including that of the
National Cyber Security Centre. We
achieved government cybersecurity
accreditation ISAME and Cyber
Essentials in October 2017, eight
months before the General Data
Protection Regulations (GDPR) came
External certification is a strong focus
for us. We are ISO 9001 and ISO
14001 accredited, which has enabled
us to apply for ADISA certification.
ADISA is an industry standard that
reflects current best practice for
handling data assets. It means that
companies have more confidence in
selling their IT equipment to us, which
increases our product supply. It also
helps raise the profile of reuse as a
concept, which is something we are all
going to have to embrace if we want
to conserve the Earth’s resources.
Circular economy and making
the best use of resources
As a relatively small company growing
fast, we focused on the day-to-day
running of the business for many years.
Recently we have had time to see how
Techbuyer fits into the widerpicture.
One of the major benefits of our
research was the discovery of the
circular economy and how it applies
to the refurbishment sector. Reports
predict the world will run out of
IT-specific raw materials copper,
lithium and silver within 50-100 years
if we carry on our current path. The
alternative is to create new models for
development such as designing products
for reuse, recovery and recycling,
developing sharing platforms, extending
product life and remanufacture.
Our business is an example of a circular
economy product life extension model.
Companies like Techbuyer prove how
successful this can be as a job creator,
delivering value to the market as
With the right standards in place and
the right market education, there is
All waste is
recycled All waste is
Issued with three-
Techbuyer’s Product Life Extension Cycle
more materials to stay
in use for longer, which
helps sustain resources
how to make
reuse work for
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | TECHBUYER
no reason why refurbishment cannot
come further into the mainstream.
As a company, we are furthering
this by putting in place appropriate
accreditations, working with academic
bodies and trade organisations to
spread the word.
A growth concept
Many large companies like Google,
Dell, Cisco, HP and Dimension Data are
exploring reuse and circular business
models in IT. However, these are not
usually part of the core business. Our
advantage is that this has been our
main focus for more than ten years,
and we understand how to make reuse
work for organisations large and small.
We try to respond to customers’
needs rather than just rushing
products out of the door. Our sales
staff are very knowledgeable about
the equipment we stock, and ask a
series of questions that enable us to
match the right product combination
to the exact requirements of the
client. IT departments are often
too small to have specialists in data
centre equipment, which is where
we can really help. Every system we
sell has the exact configuration of
hardware to match our customers’
operational requirements. We have
now also added security and data
back-up services, which are also
We are expanding our horizons in
terms of strategic partnerships and
wider industry connections. This
year we contributed to a research
project run by Sustainability Research
Institute, University of Leeds. We
also contributed as a case study on
an MSc project on circular economy
and joined WRAP’s Electrical and
Electronic Equipment Sustainability
Action Plan 2025 (ESAP 2025 – part of
the Waste and ResourcesActionPlan).
Theideaisto be part of the
conversation on how businesses can
become more sustainable.
We are also keen to learn how the
company can improve its processes.
Solar panels are one example of this;
green delivery options – for example,
electric powered transport – might
be another. Sitting on information
sharing platforms and consortiums is
an excellent way to research this.
In addition, we are making connections
with trade organisations like the
Data Centre Alliance and TechUK. It
helps us get the message out on the
benefits of refurb in terms of cost
savings on upgrades, monetising
existing assets and having a more
Performance testing is
key to providing quality
A thriving refurbishment
sector has provided
40per cent more jobs
this year at Techbuyer
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.