Businesses PonyUp second-hand tech, feeding 500,000 people in need

Author:  Mardi Brown and Cat Harding

Australian Social Enterprise PonyUp for Good announces the donation of its 500,000th fresh meal via their charity impact partner SecondBite, just in time for National Recycling week.

Operating since 2016, PonyUp for Good partners with hundreds of businesses across Australia including, Telstra, Australia Post, Southern Cross Computer Systems and Red Energy, to leverage the residual value of retired corporate IT equipment during upgrades, office moves and as business as usual - and they have just announced the donation of their 500,000th fresh meal.

“We’re celebrating this milestone in time for National Recycling Week and want to thank our clients for their many collaborations in getting us here,” said PonyUp Co-Founder, Mardi Brown. “PonyUp provides important environmental and social impact data and team engagement programs to our client businesses and it’s been incredible witnessing how these businesses have built our services into their business as usual to really help leverage their own goals,” said Brown.

PonyUp collects client’s retired technology, provides data cleansing and refurbishment processes and on-sells the equipment to extend it’s valuable life, providing access to second-hand technology to those who can’t afford it new. Then as icing on the cake, PonyUp donates 50% of profits to charity impact partner, SecondBite, Australia’s leading fresh food rescue charity. Any equipment unable to be remarketed is broken down domestically and recycled, reducing landfill and saving precious natural resources.

“As a result of the droughts, bushfires and COVID-19, more Australians have been experiencing food insecurity. Three out of four of our agencies have seen an increase in demand for food relief,” said SecondBite CEO, Steve Clifford.

“We have been partnering with PonyUp since 2016 and the milestone of 500,000 meals on behalf of their clients is an outstanding achievement. It’s a wonderfully innovative way to enable businesses to contribute to ending waste and ending hunger at a time when it is needed most”, said Clifford.

In FY21, SecondBite rescued and distributed 24.3 million kilos of food to provide more than 48.7 million meals, but there is still much to do with a recent report showing one in six Australian adults haven’t had enough to eat in the last year and 1.2 million children went hungry during the same period. In a country where we waste around 7.6 million tonnes of food across the supply and consumption chain, families shouldn’t have to go without.

Simultaneously, more than 50 million tonnes of e-waste goes into landfill globally each year, leaching toxic chemicals into our soil and waterways and ensuring the precious materials contained within cannot be reused to make new products adding additional reliance upon the planet’s limited resources.

“We established PonyUp in 2016 to help ensure businesses can not only do the right thing environmentally with their decommissioned IT equipment, but also turn it into a Corporate Social Responsibility program, enabling them to give back to the communities in which they operate. The uptake blew our minds with many household name businesses quickly jumping on board”, said PonyUp for Good, Co-Founder, Cat Harding. “We set a target of 1 million meals and we are incredibly excited to have achieved the halfway mark in partnership with our amazing clients. We are going from strength to strength at the moment and can’t wait to see what 2022 will bring”, said Harding.

PonyUp for Good have already collected more than 277,000 kilos of technology from their client partners diverting it from landfill, 39% of it has been reused with the remaining equipment being recycled with up to 95% diversion from landfill ensuring the materials contained in them will go back into making new products.

National Recycling Week, runs from Monday 8 to Sunday 14, November 2021.  For more information on Southern Cross Computer System's partnership with PonyUp for good and how you can give your old tech, new life see here.

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