N2S Chairman aids GeeWizz collection for Ukrainian crisis

The unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine and subsequent refugee crisis has left many of us shaken and worried for the people involved. With up to two million Ukrainians forced to flee in the face of Russian bombs and tanks, there is an urgent need for assistance from the wider family of European nations. Here at N2S, we’ve been asking what we can do to lend a hand.

This week, N2S Chairman Jack Gomarsall jumped into the cab of one of our articulated lorries and joined forces with Gina Long, the amazing people at her charity GeeWizz and an army of volunteers to collect supplies for Ukraine over an epic eight day charitable collection drive.

Items including coats, hats, scarves and blankets were collected by the bagful, loaded onto Jack’s lorry and brought to Bury St. Edmunds to be sorted. What started out as an ambition to fill three transit vans with goods to drive to the Romania/Ukraine border quickly snowballed, as hundreds of volunteers collected enough donations to fill six vans and 17 (seventeen!) lorries. 

The volunteers were women, men and children of all ages. GeeWizz normally has a staff of ‘2.5’, but received overwhelming support from their local community. Many came to “just drop off a bag or two”, but returned to help on every one of the eight, 18-hour days of the collection drive. Each day, and every bag of goods sorted was filled with huge emotion as the volunteers pictured where it may end up. There were exhausted tears, there was unity, and above all the desire to make whatever difference they could.

The local office of law firm Ashtons Legal loaned their office to help with the administration of the collection, Coastline Graphics produced signage for the collection within hours, while individuals and hauliers supplied much needed storage and indeed the transport to the Ukraine borders. On Saturday, N2S joined the operation. 

Jack Gomarsall and Gina Long had never met before the collection began. After a chance meeting between Gina Long and Jack’s wife Gillie Gomarsall at the FOLK Cafe, Jack changed his plans, unlocked his yard and personally drove 30 miles with his daughter Emily to Martlesham Tesco to collect a truck full of donations. 

On Monday, after GeeWizz ran out of space to store the donations, Jack delivered another 40ft truck, which was taken to Felixstowe on Tuesday morning and then out to Ukraine.

On Tuesday, all of the goods were safely delivered to the Ukrainian border, to be distributed to the refugees by the humanitarian workers there. Two weeks ago, the vast majority of these people would have had little need for charity; now, they just have very little, and every donation has the potential to save a life.

N2S executive Chairman Andy Gomarsall MBE said:

“I’m so proud of my Dad, my niece and sister for getting involved in this epic effort. It happened after a chance encounter over a coffee at the FOLK Cafe and it all snowballed from there. Dad drove his lorry to multiple locations around Ipswich, before bringing everything back to Bury St. Edmunds for sorting and then off to Felixstowe for shipment to Ukraine. 

“It’s wonderful that the N2S family was able to play a small part in the collection, but the real credit must go to Gina, to the GeeWizz charity and to the selfless people that worked 18 hour shifts to get everything sorted and packed for the people that need it.”

Gina Long, founder of the GeeWizz charity, said:

“This week alone, I have witnessed the greatness of humanity, against all odds. I’d like to give special thanks to Jack, his family and N2S after they came to the rescue of GeeWizz’s Humanitarian aid operation.

“What started as a cry for help to support my brother Oliver Horsman’s Ukraine aid effort of driving three transit vans to the Romanian-Ukraine border, and an Instagram post by my daughter Ali on her FOLK Café Instagram, snowballed into support from hundreds of wonderful selfless volunteers and donations escalating to fill three vans, fourteen 40ft curtain-side lorries, three sprinter vans and three 7.5 tonne lorries, far exceeding our expectations. 

“The love, humility, and unity have been tangible on every level. Jack is so humble; he has no idea of the enormous difference he has made.

“It’s been a life changing week, one I wish didn’t have such a terrible reason to happen. Andrew and I will forever be grateful to have shared it with many like-minded new friends. My sister, brother and brother-in-law are safely on their way home, having delivered everything to Ukraine as promised.”

GeeWizz is a registered charity (number 1164353), and is based at Hall Farm, Fornham St. Martin, Bury St. Edmunds. To donate to the GeeWizz Ukraine appeal, visit geewizzcharity.com 

To find out more about the GeeWizz humanitarian effort, please check out the following people via Instagram:

@geewizzcharity @ginalong_geewizz @oliverhorsman @lizhorsman @itsmikespencer @ashtons_legal @coastlinegraphics @croasdales_chemist @folk.cafe @hallfarmfornham @carlday66 @bactontransport @penelopewhiteuk 

We stand with Ukraine. 

Andrew Noel Brown, Head of Sustainability Solutions at N2S has been selected to join techUK’s Climate Strategy and Resilience Council.

Andrew Noel BrownAndrew (pictured left) joins 28 other members of the industry-leading group, which will play a crucial role in setting the strategic direction of techUK’s climate programme, focussing on the role the tech sector plays in the transition to net zero and opportunities for the sector to help decarbonisation in other industries.

TechUK is a membership trade association which brings together people, companies and organisations, by creating a network for innovation and collaboration across business, government and stakeholders. It aims to provide a better future for people, society, the economy and the planet.

Craig Melson - techUKCraig Melson (pictured right), associate director, Climate, Environment and Sustainability said, “The Climate Strategy and Resilience Council has a highly important role in setting the direction for tech firms in implementing their net zero targets in 2022 – and we are anticipating some significant forthcoming policy developments in this area too.

“As the council was about to embark on a new two-year fixed term, we took the opportunity to expand the group to 29 members to ensure the broadest possible range of our membership was represented. This a group of high-profile industry leaders and I am really looking forward to working with them to shape the sector’s preparations for future climate change.

The new council, which starts in January 2022, comprises sustainability leads from a range of high-profile organisations such as BT, Hitachi, Microsoft, BAE systems, IBM, Atos, Cisco, Fujitsu Deloitte, KPMG and HP, to name but a few!

Andrew Brown said, “E-waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world and the tech industry has a really important role to play in addressing how this is dealt with, both within our own sector and that of others.

“The race to achieving net zero emissions demands a more sustainable and circular approach. This is something that N2S advocates in our own processes and innovations and I would like to drive this approach forward in my role on the council to help enterprise and industry bring positive outcomes to climate change.”

More information on techUK and its work in championing technology’s role in preparing and empowering the UK for what comes next, is available on the website www.techuk.org

For over two decades, N2s has been pioneering solutions that deal with end-of-life technology equipment, offering fully transparent, end-to-end sustainable and environmental IT recycling solutions. People can sign up to hear more about N2S at www.n2s.uk or visit the website www.n2s.co.uk

Caps a stellar year for rapidly expanding Bury St Edmunds firm           

Bury St Edmunds: 22 November 2021 – N2S have won out at this year’s prestigious Suffolk Business Awards.  Against stiff competition, we were crowned Disruptor of the Year and took second place in the Business of the Year finale.

Mimi Moll collects N2S' award. Photo credit: Matt Potter

Mimi Moll picks up N2S’ award. Photo credit: Matt Potter

Sponsored by the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce and Sizewell C, the 2021 Suffolk Business Awards winners were announced on Thursday 18th November at a gala dinner event. This was attended by more than 250 guests and hosted by Archant, publishers of the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.

N2S were the outright winners of the Disruptor of the Year award in recognition of our highly successful sustainable business model, and one that is vital to the sustainability of technology equipment consumed by enterprise and public sector organisations. Our entry included the revolutionary bioleaching processes we are pioneering with Coventry University – supported by funding from Innovate UK – for sustainably recovering precious and rare earth metals from printed circuit boards. These valuable materials, some of which are in finite supply, are deployed in all kinds of computing and telecoms equipment but often needlessly wasted when devices at end of life go to landfill or are burned.

Mimi Moll, N2S IT & Telecoms Sustainability Lead, commented:

“To win the strongly contested ‘Disruptor’ category is a great accolade for N2S’s entire workforce. We are thrilled to have been recognised as a game changing business and much appreciate the positive message this will send to customers and the wider marketplace. Through our circular IT asset lifecycle and recycling solutions we strive tirelessly to effect positive change, to make a real difference to the future sustainability of the IT industry and to climate change. Thank you Archant for organising and hosting these coveted awards and a special shout out to University of Suffolk as the sponsor of the Disruptor category.”

N2S Managing Director, Steve Morris, added:

“As a long-established local business we’re immensely proud to be an active member of the vibrant Suffolk business community. Being voted Business of the Year runner-up underlines this and caps a remarkable year for N2S. We have secured significant new investment, achieved stellar sales growth, increased the UK footprint of our recycling facilities, created new job opportunities and attended COP26 at the invitation of DEFRA.”

Founded 20 years ago, N2S contributes significantly to the circular economy by maximising the lifecycle of business IT equipment. As a highly accredited and certified leader in the pursuit of zero-waste technology, N2S recycles around 1,000 tonnes of electrical and electronic waste every year – the equivalent of 250,000 IT devices – avoiding 4,589,000 kilos of CO2e and enabling rebates to customers of over £1.5M.

N2S’s transparent approach to service delivery and pricing facilitates engagement by customers, allowing them to quickly adopt sustainable IT lifecycle management best practices. Its easy-to-use Environmental Impact Reporting dashboard and app, leveraging sophisticated Science-based Metrics, supports customer ESG strategies, decarbonisation objectives and net zero targets.

Suffolk IT asset disposal firm, N2S, based in Bury St. Edmunds, is spearheading the fight against one of the world’s fastest-growing climate change problems: e-waste.

The company’s mission to deliver 100% circular e-waste management aligns with the WEEE Forum’s International E-Waste Day± campaign for a global recognition of the crisis, on 14 October.

Every IT device – from mobile phones, tablets and laptops to PCs and telephone exchanges – has a carbon footprint, contributing to human-made global warming.

According to the International Energy Agency* the ICT industry generates more than 53 million tonnes of e-waste every year – two per cent of the world’s emissions. This is the equivalent of all the commercial aircraft ever built!

The material value of this is worth at least £50 billion per annum including an estimated £7 billion of precious metals such as gold and silver.

Currently, under 20 percent of e-waste is recycled and much ends up in poorer countries across the world where it is dumped in landfill sites and burned, exposing the environment and humans to toxic fumes which then find their way into the water supply and food chain, poisoning animals, people and destroying the planet.

This is an incredibly serious problem. If nothing is done, e-waste is expected to more than double by 2050 to 120 million tonnes.

With over 30 years’ experience in providing solutions to end-of-life IT equipment, N2S is stepping up to the plate, championing the urgent need for the technology industry – and end user organisations – to take more effective action in tackling the growing mountain of e-waste and its impact on climate change.

Chairman and former England rugby international, Andy Gomarsall MBE explains, “There needs to be a global change in the way that e-waste managed – and it needs to happen now!

“N2S is leading the charge to rapidly and significantly, reduce the environmental impact of enterprise and cloud computing. The race to achieving below net zero emissions demands a more sustainable and circular approach. Our vision is for companies and consumers to use technology from 100% recycled metals using the greenest methods, stopping the need for export and using harmful acids.”

N2S is rising to the challenge, redefining the lifecycle of technology, by creating a 100% circular operation where every part of the equipment is recovered, recycled, reformed or restored for re-use.

Each year, the company recycles around 250,000 IT devices in the UK alone – and none of the equipment processed goes to landfill.

Furthermore, through innovative solutions such as its revolutionary biotechnology process, developed in partnership with Coventry University, critical raw materials including gold, platinum, nickel and copper, found in printed circuit boards that are used in nearly all electronic equipment, is now being recovered, using bacteria to oxidise the metal content.

It is estimated there is up to £15 billion in gold and silver used each year in the manufacture of new electronic devices and scientists have warned some of these substances are in limited supply. N2S’s biotechnology process helps to negate the need to further mine for raw materials.

Gomarsall adds,

“Through our innovations and circular IT lifecycle management solutions, we are altering the face of technology recycling and offering a secure and sustainable way for enterprise and industry to realise their Net Zero goals. Our aim is to deliver a worldwide zero-to-landfill solution for e-waste and bring positive outcomes to climate change.

“It is vital that the world wakes up to the e-waste crisis and takes action now, before it’s too late.”

*International Energy Agency

±WEEE Forum International E-Waste Day