King Philippe Marks 500,000th Computer Donation by Arrow Electronics and Close the Gap

Feb 26, 2016 10:50 AM ET

MECHELEN, Belgium, February 24, 2016 /3BL Media/ - A half-million donated computers is a milestone—momentous enough to warrant a King’s attention.

His Majesty King Philippe of Belgium visited Arrow Electronics’ facility near Brussels on February 18 to celebrate the refurbishment of the 500,000th computer donated for humanitarian purposes.

Arrow has facilitated the donations over the past decade with Close the Gap (CTG), an international nonprofit organization that provides high-quality, pre-owned computers donated by European companies to projects in sub-Sahara Africa.

Arrow’s Value Recovery business refurbishes the computers prior to donation, including rigorous data-erasure protection and the replacement of outdated parts, including keyboards, screens and processors. In the past year alone, Arrow has kept more than 50,000 tons of used electronics out of landfills and more than 100 million pounds of materials out of the manufacturing stream.

The King toured the Arrow facility and met with the donation program’s stakeholders—among them representatives from, Deloitte Belgium, KBC Bank, Proximus, Recupel and Agoria. The group discussed the role that refurbished IT can play in socio-circular economies, creating sustainable jobs and introducing technology to the most vulnerable communities.

The event ended with a short visit to the DigiTruck, a mobile, solar-powered, multi-purpose IT unit that aims to bridge the digital divide for learners from vulnerable and rural communities. Arrow sponsored the first DigiTruck, bringing IT literacy to orphans in rural Tanzania.

“We were honored by HM King Philippe’s visit to Arrow’s Value Recovery facilities and that we were able to show him our great work and cooperation with Close the Gap,” said AVR president Mark Majeske. “We are working on every front to do the ethical, responsible thing when it comes to electronics. Responsible recycling is an important piece of the value chain, but much of the value from electronics can be realized up stream—long before assets are sent to recycling. We live and breathe the circular economy.”