Back to News

Bates Wells needed an immediate, ethical and economical supply of IT equipment when the UK entered into lockdown

During the COVID-19 lockdown periods, many firms were required to accommodate homeworking for their staff. It became a logistical problem for many as additional IT equipment was required for their teams.

With so many businesses in the same situation, a shortfall of IT equipment was inevitable. Law firm Bates Wells needed a solution fast, but the solution needed to be in line with company values.

The first UK law firm to certify as a B Corp

Bates Wells is a full service law firm that works primarily with purposeful businesses, charities and social enterprises. They are a firm guided by their values and in 2015 became the first UK law firm to certify as a B Corp.

Angela Monaghan is Bates Wells’ Purpose and Impact Lead – a new role created to connect Bates Wells’ legal services to what is operationally required to be a B Corp. She supports clients directly with practical solutions to shift their economic model to be more purpose driven.

Finding essential tech in lockdown 

Although all of their people had laptops when it became necessary for Bates Wells to implement homeworking, staff also asked for other equipment to be supplied. Those additional items needed to be sourced quickly, ethically and at the minimum financial outlay.

Angela explained the situation: “As a B Corp, we are environmentally conscious, so, where practical, we were sending out equipment that we had in the office. But other items were requested too, and we needed to find a solution, fast”.

Angela told us she noticed Reconome’s profile on B Hive, the B Corps networking platform. She said, “When Reconome announced what they were doing, their message immediately clicked for me: I could see they would be a great connection for us”. 

She continued, “Reconome was an obvious choice for Bates Wells as their service addressed all our needs at that time”. She explained that not only could they fill an equipment shortfall, but Bates Wells would also be helping to reduce the amount of tech sent to landfills, which met their firm’s environmental and sustainability ethics. Angela said, “The timing was perfect as Reconome announced their B Corp certification at the time I was beginning to look for solutions to help our people work from home more comfortably”.

Staff encouraged to make ethical IT purchases

Angela reached out to Dave, Reconome’s Operations Director and recalled,” I couldn’t have been in better hands!”

Bates Wells encouraged their people to purchase the necessary equipment through Reconome individually as, logistically, this was the best option for the law firm. At the time individual purchasing wasn’t a service Reconome provided. However, Angela recalls they were ‘incredibly helpful and accommodating’. Bates Wells staff were given the go-ahead to email Dave personally with their IT requests. The IT was sent quickly and offered at very competitive prices to the Bates Wells team members, who made the payments to Reconome then claimed back from Bates Wells. 

Angela recalls, “Once it was clear that homeworking wasn’t going to be short term, our priority was to help our people work in a way that was best for their mental and emotional health, including health and safety; and continue meeting our commitments to our clients. The process of purchasing the necessary equipment could easily have become complicated, but the team at Recomome ensured everything was seamless”.

After their initial requirements were fulfilled, Bates Wells continued working with Reconome, taking refurbished mobile phones when current devices became obsolete and needed replacement. These transactions reverted to a traditional B2B model rather than the previous situation of staff making individual purchases.

A very ethical solution at a desperate time

The results, delivered during the pandemic, should be applauded:

“Bates Wells sustainable procurement of IT equipment helped save 10,175 kg of CO2e emissions, which is the equivalent to the same amount of CO2 that 462 trees would normally sequester over one year of adult life.”

Angela concluded by saying:

“Reconome filled a need in a desperate time: tech and IT wasn’t easy to come by in the lockdown period, but they helped us with cables, monitors and pretty much everything else we needed. Their team is extremely friendly and helpful, and they provided excellent customer service: it was easy for us to work with them. 

We formally recognised the Climate Emergency in 2019. Since then, we’ve worked hard to reduce our carbon footprint and our impact on the environment. It seemed obvious to us that we should purchase refurbished equipment from Reconome – very much in alignment with our goals and aspirations as a B Corp. 

Additionally, although not the primary driver in our decision to work with Reconome, the overall cost was much lower than expected. Reconome could supply most of what we needed as remanufactured devices, and they were affordable. Sometimes people assume that refurbished equipment is inferior to new, but we haven’t experienced that. One minor issue was fixed immediately – that can’t always be said of new products!

Their approach was always open and positive; despite us asking them to do something they didn’t ordinarily do (individual sales), they found a way to help us.  

We will always work with fellow B Corps where possible, as we can be sure they have the same ethical approach to business and the environment as us. Reconome exceeded our expectations, and we would highly recommend them to others”.

Speak to our team for advice on sourcing high quality and low cost refurbished laptops as replacements for outdated IT devices. We would be happy to help!