Techbuyer USA and FreeICT

We're excited to announce that we’ve become a founding member of Free ICT USA, a newly formed coalition that advocates for choice and competition in the US software and IT hardware repair and maintenance market. As a company that ourselves recently advocated for the right to repair in New York, amongst working with other organizations to further the circular economy, we naturally are excited to get involved with Free ICT USA 

As longstanding members of the Free ICT Europe Foundation (FIE) with our Sustainability Lead, Astrid Wynne representing Techbuyer on the board, our CEO Kevin Towers has taken a place on the Free ICT USA board. 


About the Free ICT Foundation 

Free ICT Europe (FIE) is a not-for-profit foundation that has been actively promoting the ICT Secondary Market within Europe since 2014. FIE promotes a fair and open market, with no barriers for independent trade, repair and maintenance of hardware and software. Fair, open and competitive markets are underpinned by end users' right of ownership and the freedom to choose providers. As a member of FIE, Techbuyer regularly contributes to the organization with our insight from within the hardware industry and with our research on the circular economy. 

A great example of this was the EU Eco-Design Legislation, published late 2018, which mandated firmware be made publicly available to support server performance in second, third and subsequent lives with new users. 

Aligned with the successful Free ICT Europe coalition, the objective of the US coalition of Free ICT is similar: to secure the right of ownership and the freedom for consumers and businesses alike to freely choose which providers to use to trade, maintain and repair software and IT hardware.  


Advocating for a More Sustainable ICT Sector 

The aim of Free ICT is a crucial one – to work to promote fair and open markets, with no barriers for independent trade, repair and maintenance of hardware and software. This will result in a fair level playing field in the ICT secondary market, without lock-ins and restrictive policies. 

OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) policies such as vendor lock in are responsible for contributing to e-waste, so advocacy work like this couldn’t come at a better time. The rising tide of e-waste is predicted to reach 74.7 million metric tons yearly by 2030 – it currently sits at 53.6 million metric tons a year (source: The U.N.). With the ICT sector’s carbon footprint at 1.4% in relation to overall global emissions, and a hefty total life cycle carbon footprint of 730 million tons CO2 equivalent, it’s safe to say there’s room for improvement in the ICT sector (source: Ericsson). 


 Techbuyer’s Support 

As a sustainable IT solutions provider with the circular economy at our coure, we believe that it is imperative to have increased competition in the US software and IT hardware repair and maintenance market. This in turn will give more freedom to companies who have purchased products from large OEMs. 

There is much opportunity to effect change. Free ICT estimates that the secondary hardware market represents $70 billion ($20 billion of which is in the US) with the software maintenance and repair market estimated to be more than $175 billion globally. 

With recent wins in the right to repair movement here in the US, we think it is timely that Free ICT US is working to ensure that any debate surrounding the right to repair includes hardware and software so that businesses and consumers are able to easily access the secondary repair market.  

We look forward to working collaboratively with Free ICT USA to share current issues, highlight how markets might be hindered, and contribute to the discourse on the environmental impacts resulting from forced hardware replacement and restrictive repair policies. 

Our team’s priority is to extend the product lifecycle of IT equipment wherever possible, in order to reduce the amount of useful technology entering the planet’s waste stream, to learn more about our sustainable approach, click here.  

To learn more about Free ICT USA, visit their website.