Farming the sun

- August 03, 2023

How our Norway refurbishment centre is powering the future

The latest refurbishment centre opened by 3stepIT is powered by a solar farm, a first of its kind for the IT asset disposal industry. More than 700 square metres of solar panels line the roof and walls of the facility in Ski, Norway, with the potential to produce up to 125.000 kW per year – enough to power more than two million lightbulbs.


Peer Velde, 3stepIT’s Country Manager in Norway, recently sat down to chat with his colleague Bengt Martinsen, Director of Services in Norway, to discuss the innovation at the site and why 3stepIT Norway believes it’s so important to be a leader in sustainability.

 Glynitveien 33 - Solceller vegg 1 circle

Peer: Bengt, thanks for joining me. Can you start by telling me how this project came about?


Bengt: This is a great story about what can happen when two partners with a shared ambition for sustainability collaborate to achieve something unique and different in the market.


When we were first looking for an office in Oslo many years ago, we visited a building where we knew immediately it met our environmental ambitions, thanks to features like windows that had been glazed six times to insulate the building from Norway’s weather. When we moved in, we formed a partnership with our landlord, Höegh Eiendom, a green real estate development company, who shared our passion for sustainability.


Little did we know that that was just the beginning of an exciting journey!


In 2021, we realised that we had grown out of our refurbishment centre and needed to find new premises that could accommodate the increasing volume of devices we were processing for our Norwegian customers. Working with Höegh Eiendom, we found a new centre in Ski with 3,600 square meters, more than 2.5 times the size of our previous site, and had huge sustainability potential.

Glynitveien 33 - Hovedingang 2 circle


Together, we knew from the start that we could make a positive contribution to the local community and achieve something special with the new site at the same time. Before we launched, we installed a massive 700 square metre solar farm on the roof and walls, covering over a fifth of the site’s floor plan – powering our operations and bolstering the supply of clean energy available across the network. We also considered several other critical factors, like reducing car parking spaces, smart lighting that turns off when not needed, and the use of sustainable materials during the renovation.


Today, Höegh Eiendom is our partner in leading the way when it comes to creating sustainable production hubs in Norway.


Peer: What was your ambition when you started this project?


Bengt: First and foremost, we wanted to establish a centre of innovation and excellence where we could cement our position as the leading provider of circular and sustainable Technology Lifecycle Management solutions in Norway and across Europe.


The solar farm has benefited our business enormously, providing a reliable source of clean and affordable energy for our production site. Our customers who are buying second-life equipment are also enjoying the additional sustainable benefits that come with our service, as we can provide tech assets that are refurbished using green energy.


No company operates in isolation, however, and we are not just a sustainable service provider but also a proud Norwegian company with the opportunity to make a positive impact in our local community and across the Nordics by demonstrating more sustainable ways of doing business.

 Glynitveien 33 - Production 2 circle

As the world continues to grapple with climate change, we believe that the Ski facility is a fantastic example of how partnerships can create change and how we can still grow and produce without relying on carbon-intensive manufacturing processes.


Peer: Can you tell us more about the impact on the local community?


Bengt: We are long-time residents of Ski, and when we moved to the new site, we were looking forward to making a further positive contribution to the area’s business park. It was important to us to develop something unique that the community could be proud of, and of course, the cleaner our operations, the better it is for the local environment and air quality.


The solar farm is incredibly efficient, and as I mentioned earlier, we’re also able to sell about a third of the energy we produce into the electricity grid to bolster the supply of clean energy available across the network.


Peer: Have we been able to share our learnings with others?


Bengt: Absolutely, this is a first for our industry, but we’re hoping it will soon become standard practice. In the first two months of this year, we have had over 100 visitors to the site, wanting to learn more about our sustainable production practises.

Glynitveien 33 - Inventory 2 circle 

In the foyer where we greet guests, we have a screen that tracks how much energy we’re producing . We’ve seen a huge amount of interest from customers who want to partner with organisations that are walking the talk on sustainability and the circular economy and can help them to achieve their own goals.


Peer: What’s next?


Bengt: If there’s one thing we’ve learnt in our sustainability journey, it’s that we can never stand still – there’s always more than can be achieved. I’m very proud of our team and grateful to our partner, Höegh Eiendom, for sharing our passion for sustainability and always being open to innovating and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. We’re not done yet – there will be more exciting announcements as we strive to lead by example and create the most sustainable production hub for our customers, our industry, and our society.


Learn more about how we help businesses deliver a cost-effective, efficient IT procurement strategy with our Technology Lifecycle Management solution. 


Technology Lifecycle Management


Alternatively, if you just want to dispose of your old tech securely, sustainably and boost your budgets with some extra cash, take a look at our IT Asset Disposal solution REstepIT.


IT Asset Disposal


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