Sustainability

Don't let your old computer rot in a cupboard

You can give it a second life with Close the Gap.

When you've got an old computer with hundreds of files and photos, it's not always clear how to get rid of it. As a result, you keep it... and the device collects dust. If you find it hard to let go, you are not alone. It is estimated that, in Belgium, 1 million unused computers are sitting in wardrobes. And to this figure we can add our old phones and tablets.

Yet our unused computer equipment can be useful in many ways.

A second life for used computer equipment

This is why ING has teamed up with Close the Gap. The aim is to donate laptops that are no longer in use to the association in order to give them a new life. The refurbished computers are redistributed to people who do not have access to digital technology. At ING, we aim to bridge the digital divide so that everyone can find their place in an increasingly digital environment. 

What does Close the Gap do?

Close the Gap is an international non-profit organisation dedicated to bridging the digital divide. Close the Gap collects IT equipment, such as laptops, smartphones and tablets, from companies and reconditions them to give them a new life in educational, medical, entrepreneurial and social projects in developing countries.

In 2020, 131,500 devices were collected and 1,356 projects supported. As a long-standing partner, ING contributed 3,253 donated devices.

3 good reasons to recycle your computer equipment

1. Preserving the environment

Many resources are needed to produce a computer, smartphone, or tablet. Hundreds of components and chemicals are used in their manufacture, some of which can be dangerous and harmful to the environment, nature and our health if not treated properly.

2. Slowing down the depletion of our natural resources and CO2 emissions

The recycling process allows for the reuse of components that can be used in the manufacture of new equipment. By reusing and revaluing these existing resources, we avoid manufacturing new products, thus avoiding the extraction of raw materials and the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere.

3. Bridging the digital divide

Although the prices of smartphones or computers are more accessible than they were a few years ago, a part of the population cannot afford to buy an electronic device. Reconditioned or second-hand equipment is less expensive and can be purchased at a lower price. This material can also be distributed in developing countries, as Close the Gap does.

Graph of the impact of a refurbished laptop

Concrete impact of laptop refurbishment in terms of CO2 emission reduction

You too can make a difference

  • Do you have a company?

Then you too can donate your unused computer equipment to Close the Gap, who will take care of the collection, reconditioning and reporting.

  • Are you a private individual?

You can make a donation to Close the Gap.

You can donate or resell your appliance at the shop (if you buy a new one), at the Recycling Point (when you do your shopping) or at the Recyparc near you. A collection point is never far away: there are thousands of them in Belgium.


Make your donation online via the ING Banking app

As an ING customer, you can make a donation directly from your ING Banking app. The beneficiary and the communication are pre-filled, you just have to choose your amount and confirm. Practical and fast!

Donations from 40 euros are tax deductible.

Would you like to know more?

As a bank, we have a responsibility and an opportunity to help people feel more financially comfortable. The first step is to ensure that certain basic elements are in place. This includes access to products and services in an increasingly digital world, while maintaining physical support and interaction.