Equipment finance and leasing firm, Quadrent, has launched, what it calls, Australia’s first ever equipment ‘Green Lease’ product to, “Help businesses reduce the amount of e-waste they are producing.” Leasing IT equipment has been normal for more-than a decade with Australian Managed Service Providers (MSPs), of all sizes, offering such schemes to SMBs of all sizes. However, few such schemes are branded, ‘Green.’
Quadrent says of itself, “We help our clients reach their financial and business goals by delivering practical services for funding, managing and reporting on leased assets. At Quadrent our asset financing is transparent, cost effective, flexible and ideally suited to assets that have a high rate of change.” i.e. It specialises in leasing a broad array of products, but not supporting them.
Typical MSPs will refresh an SMB’s (for instance) laptops every two-to-five years for a monthly payment that includes a level of on-site and remote support defined by a Service Level Agreement (SLA). End-of-lease models often get returned, data-wiped and then sold cheaply to places like Gray’s Online or donated to charities. Few make a point of the environmental benefits of doing so, but do it they do.
Quadrent states that, According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest Waste Account, Australia disposes of 539,000 tonnes of e-waste in a year. The new financial product aims to reduce these figures, and make it easier for businesses to make a measurable and tangible difference.
It goes on to describe the Green Lease as enabling large corporate and government organisations to fund their technology purchases such as laptops, mobile phones, screens and other office items, via a lease. At the end of the lease term, they are passed back to Quadrent who responsibly recycle and re-purpose the technology, as well as donate a portion of high-spec and high-quality tech devices to the young Australians in our communities that need them most.
While the opening actions are nothing new, the latter part regarding helping disadvantaged communities is more interesting. No specifics are provided though.
Martyn Masterson, CEO at Quadrent, said, “We’re helping large businesses disrupt the traditional supply chain, procurement and ownership models associated with technology and simultaneously solve two of Australia’s most pressing problems: e-waste and digital inequality.”
Australia generates almost 22KG of e-waste per person each year, well above the global average of about 7KG and the volume is forecast to increase 40 per cent by 2030. Yet while many Australians take having access to use a laptop, a mobile phone and the internet for granted, 800,000 Australian kids are at risk of being digitally excluded.
Martyn added, “In the last few years, we have reshaped our core leasing services, which re-purpose and extend the life of assets and reduce the level of waste generated by up to 10 times. The launch of our Quadrent Green Lease is not only another step in our commitment to sustainability, but will help our customers measure their environmental impact and improve their social contribution.
We’re giving large organisations a way to be at the forefront of innovation and digitisation while reducing e-waste and emissions and helping vulnerable communities around Australia get online and take part in the digital economy.”
Quadrent adds that Green finance has become popular in the world of business, with some touting it as a way to incentivise lower carbon emissions. Improving sustainability is also a priority for companies wanting to lower their own cost of capital by meeting ESG (environmental, social and governance) goals, or in an effort to appeal to employees and consumers who are becoming increasingly socially conscious.’
While there are questions regarding Quadrent’s clients being well behind the times if they’re not doing this already, any such scheme should likely not be sniffed at.