In his new career, Andy Gomarsall is breeding bugs to extract precious metals from printed circuit boards. He and his father, Jack, gave CRN a no-holds-barred tour of their firm, N2S
Former England rugby ace Andy Gomarsall has told CRN that the industry has "ten years" to make strides on tackling e-waste and sustainability.
Having swapped his rugby boots for a new career in IT recycling, Gomarsall and his team gave CRN no-holds-barred access to N2S' facility in Bury St Edmunds.
N2S is currently developing bioleaching techniques to recover precious metals from printed circuit boards, Gomarsall's father - and N2S founder - Jack, explained.
"This is basically using bugs to eat the metals," he told us during our tour.
"Acids, which have been used for decades, will now be classified as harmful - which they are. The other way of doing it is burning the equipment - and that's no longer available. [Bioleaching] is the be all and end all."
Andy Gomarsall joined N2S in 2010 having won 35 caps for England.
He said the channel and wider society had just a decade to make headway on sustainability.
"This is a great opportunity for our generation to put something together that is 100 per cent sustainable, 100 per cent renewable, and 100 per cent reuse - and it has to happen quickly. We've got ten years, so this is the decade to really make strides forward," he said.
N2S is one of two firms innovating in the realm of sustainability that CRN profiled ahead of our planned Sustainability Summit, which was postponed due to COVID-19.
We have released this footage now in order to continue the narrative around sustainability, a topic that has been given fresh impetus this week by announcements from Nordic reseller Atea and IT services powerhouse Atos, both of which have unveiled plans to drastically cut emissions.
Filming was conducted on 12 March, just two weeks before lockdown.
Gomarsall will be joining us soon in a Zoom chat to update us on how COVID-19 has shifted the sustainability debate.