Rutronik News

Rutronik Supports Employment for People with Disabilities and Encourages Environmental Responsibility in IT

  Corporate News

Since 2005, Rutronik Elektronische Bauelemente GmbH has supported the charitable organization AfB GmbH with IT hardware that is no longer needed. For its social and environmental commitment, Rutronik has now received recognition from AfB – in 2015, Rutronik was alone responsible for creating a job for a disabled person.

For business purposes, IT hardware is usually no longer adequate after just a few years. It becomes impossible to install all of the required software, or they make PCs, laptops or tablets too slow. "After refurbishment, our old equipment is ideally equipped for private households, enabling us to reduce the burden on the environment while also helping to create jobs for the disabled - and this is part of the reason why we chose to partner up with AfB over a decade ago," said Markus Ziegler, Head of IT at Rutronik.

AfB collects IT hardware from Rutronik several times a year with its own personnel and vehicle fleet. These secondhand PCs and laptops that are no longer required undergo a certified data wipe process. The hardware is cleaned and any necessary repairs or installations are performed. In the 15 AfB shops in Germany, Austria, France and Switzerland, and online at, private persons, educational institutions and non-profit associations can then buy these refurbished IT products and accessories with up to three years' warranty.

AfB stands for "Arbeit für Menschen mit Behinderung" - German for "work for people with disabilities". Around 50 percent of all employees have a disability. Disabled and non-disabled people work together in practically all of the company's departments. All of the working areas in the divisions, including device refurbishment, marketing and sales, are designed to be accessible to disabled people. "We are pleased about our partnership of many years with Rutronik - in particular because it is a partner that contributes significantly to energy efficiency and environmental protection with the distribution of its innovative products. This shows how Rutronik puts the concept of sustainability into practice not only in IT, but also in its core business," said Daniel Büchle, Managing Director of AfB.

A Classic Win-Win Situation

Data is usually still present on the hardware, and this needs to undergo a complex wiping process based on a data protection policy. "AfB handles this data wiping for us at no charge, which saves us time and money," said Bernhard Ganz, IT Service Manager at Rutronik. AfB is always up to speed in matters of data protection legislation, hazardous materials directives and also waste recycling legislation. The company specializes in refurbishing end-of-life IT hardware and restoring it to active service in the material cycle.