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Metro Assist makes IT Green

Metro Assist provides a range of community services including migrant settlement, family support and early intervention, financial support, tenancy services and community development. Their service area includes Ashfield, Bankstown, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Marrickville and Strathfield Local Government Areas.

The organisation was initially established as the Canterbury Bankstown Migrant Resource Centre in 1986 to assist new migrants and refugees settling in the Canterbury and Bankstown local government areas. With an expansion in the organisation’s footprint to include the Inner West, the name was changed in 2008 to Metro Migrant Resource Centre. A broadening of services beyond migrant settlement saw a further name change to Metro Assist in 2010.

In 2021 Metro Assist engaged Virtu (Formerly Virtunet) to develop an end user
computing solution that meets not only today’s End User Computing (EUC) Solutions but the future as well. Virtu recommended HP as part of the HP Amplify Program initiative and introduced a solution that not only provides a cost-effective solution, but one that impacts the Planet, Communities and People.

“Our organisation’s goal aligns with HP and Virtu down to wider sustainability concepts, including a socially just society that respects individuality, dignity and diversity and provides avenues for all people to fulfil their potential. We now look at IT functionality with an eye for the planet and it’s people. It is not just about the purchase, but entire lifecycle management of our technologies.”

~ Michael Szafraniec, CEO of Metro Assist says

Challenges:

Solution

HP’s commitment to designing and delivering the world’s most sustainable PC portfolio began in 1987. It is currently midway through a 10-year plan to significantly reduce the impact of its entire portfolio. As an example, the production process of HP’s current Dragonfly laptop range gets the tick with its low chemical use and ocean-bound plastics at only 10%. Plus, it is 95% recyclable. The company’s dedication to sustainability takes many forms, including specific webinars and training for customers.

“Part of this change is the power of the customer. End users are demanding more. So don’t be afraid to ask for better from your suppliers,” Michael says.

When it comes to consideration of the environment as a business imperative, Michael says: “Starting from somewhere, anywhere, is a good start. Everything is possible now. HP and Virtu provide us with some pretty strong shoulders to stand on. Selecting greener products is no longer the costlier option – they actually save you on so many levels,” Michael says.

With Phase One of the project on the way, Virtu and HP are looking to take End User Computing to the next level introducing Google to up-cycle old PCs into a new modern workplace PC that allows ease of fleet management, increased security whilst introducing further cost reductions. Virtu aims to extend Metro Assist’s PC Lifecycle to over 5 years.

Benefits

It may seem counter-intuitive that waste can be reduced by regularly turning over equipment, but HP in this instance, and Virtu’s approach to hardware roll-out projects, allows for Metro Assist to refresh equipment at the point that maximises ROI.

The HP ProBook is EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) Gold certified, which ranks the environmental effect of a product. And with HP and Virtu’s complete, responsible lifecycle management, “at 1.32 kg per device, that’s about 30kg not going to landfill – you can feel good about that”, Michael says.

Small changes add up to large improvements. Virtu in a partnership with Targus also supplied the new laptop roll-out with EcoSmart® briefcase bag made using fabric woven from recycled water bottles, 20 to be exact.

But one small change has made a large difference. Virtu explained the shift to using all paper/cardboard packaging and it was a great initiative to match Metro Assist’s ‘Adapting to Climate Change’ program.

“Rather than standing at the bins separating boxes from styrofoam inners, we can spend time with community and staff helping them with their technology. The changes we’ve made in the last couple of years have been really positive for our team and their job satisfaction.”

“Doing our bit for the planet and its communities is exciting. Having eliminated the plastic, we’ve taken the guilt and manpower out of managing our packaging disposal,” he says.

This is just the beginning of the partnership as a HP Impact Changemaker. Virtu aims to work the next stage of the initiative in supporting the Metro Assist community to increase visibility of programs to assist families, settlement, employment and community events for diverse backgrounds and perspectives.

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