Where sustainability and innovation are at the forefront of corporate responsibility, businesses are increasingly turning to REcommerce as a means to achieve both environmental and economic goals. REcommerce, short for “reverse commerce,” involves the resale, refurbishment, and reuse of previously owned products, with a focus on extending the lifespan of goods. This article explores what REcommerce is, how companies can introduce it into their operations, and the significant benefits it brings, with a special emphasis on reusing old electronics.

Understanding the Concept of REcommerce

REcommerce is a holistic approach to sustainability that aligns with the circular economy model. Rather than following the traditional linear model of produce, use, and dispose, REcommerce introduces a cycle where products are collected, refurbished, and reintroduced into the market. This not only reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing new goods but also opens up new revenue streams for businesses.

Many institutions have adopted the REcommerce process, including financial institutions, e.g. banks, such as Santander Bank, with whom INNOKREA has entered into an agreement. Noteworthy examples of such forward-thinking organizations also include the Lingaro Group, renowned for its expertise in data services, and FEMAX, a leading wholesaler. However, the list of companies diving into the REcommerce arena extends far beyond these names, with many others actively engaging in and committing to the implementation of REcommerce processes.

Introducing REcommerce into Businesses: A Step-By-Step Guide

Implementing REcommerce practices in a company requires a strategic and well-thought-out approach. Here are five key steps to help businesses in adopting REcommerce:

STEP 1: Assessment of current assets

Begin by evaluating the existing assets, identifying products suitable for REcommerce based on e.g. durability, technical condition, refurbishment potential. This may include all items no longer needed in the company or no longer in use, i.e. old electronics, office furniture, or other assets that might be given a second life.

STEP 2: Building a REcommerce strategy

With a clear understanding of the existing assets, formulate a comprehensive REcommerce strategy. Define the target audience for in-company sales, focusing on employees and/or key clients. Consider the strategic alignment of REcommerce with corporate values, environmental responsibility, and financial goals. Develop a communication plan to convey the benefits of REcommerce to potential participants, emphasising the reduction of carbon footprint, waste minimization, and the positive impact on the environment.

STEP 3: Setting up a REcommerce platform

Once the strategy is in place, dedicate efforts to configuring and optimising the REcommerce platform, such as, ensuring user-friendly interfaces and making it easy for employees and clients to navigate. Before selling the items, make sure that you create compelling auctions by adding good quality pictures of the items, a comprehensive description of the device/object, including detailed information (technical condition, parameters, etc.), so that the buyers have a broad knowledge of what they are purchasing.

STEP 4: Selling items

Initiate the REcommerce process by inviting selected participants to choose the items they want to buy. Send personalised invitations, clearly articulating the value proposition and the environmental benefits associated with REcommerce. Facilitate secure transactions for successful auction winners, incorporating multiple payment options and efficient logistics, preferably personal pick-up, to shorten the delivery chain. Encourage participants to share their experiences and success stories, emphasising the positive impact of such initiatives.

STEP 5: Establishing a long-term REcommerce process

Make an attempt to change the one-time initiative into a sustainable, long-term REcommerce process. Gather feedback from buyers to gain insights into their experiences and identify areas for improvement. Gradually expand the range of items eligible for REcommerce, incorporating a variety of products to enhance participation. Integrate REcommerce into the company’s corporate culture, emphasizing its role in environmental responsibility and corporate sustainability. Encourage ongoing employee engagement through incentives or recognition, fostering a sense of collective responsibility. Regularly assess the success and environmental impact of the REcommerce initiative, making adjustments as needed to ensure continuous improvement and long-term success.

Benefits of REcommerce for Businesses

As businesses strive to navigate an ever-evolving landscape of corporate responsibility, the integration of sustainable practices becomes imperative. Positioned at the forefront of this transformative movement is the REcommerce process – a solution tailored to not only reduce ecological footprints, but also drive innovation and financial success. Implementing REcommerce practices includes advantages such as:

1.     Environmental impact: reducing carbon footprint and waste

The production of new goods often entails significant carbon emissions associated with raw material extraction, manufacturing processes, and transportation. By diverting products from the landfill and refurbishing them for resale, REcommerce dramatically reduces the need for manufacturing new ones. This, in turn, leads to a substantial decrease in carbon emissions, aligning businesses with global climate goals and reducing their overall carbon footprint. What is more, REcommerce not only aids in environmental conservation, but also presents a pragmatic solution to waste management challenges. Discarding used products often incurs disposal costs for businesses. By embracing REcommerce, companies can minimize the volume of waste sent to landfills, thereby reducing disposal costs.

2.     Preserving natural resources: extending the life cycle of electronics

One of the key advantages of REcommerce lies in extending the life cycle of devices or items. By transforming obsolete assets into viable, second-hand options, businesses actively reduce the demand for raw materials. This, in turn, contributes to the preservation of natural resources and aligns with a broader global commitment to sustainable resource management.

3.     Regulatory compliance: adherence to evolving environmental regulations

Governments and regulatory bodies worldwide are increasingly enacting stringent environmental regulations; therefore, the business landscape is dynamic. Embracing REcommerce positions businesses to not only meet, but also exceed these standards. By actively participating in sustainable practices, companies showcase a commitment to regulatory compliance and responsible business conduct. This proactive stance not only mitigates the risk of legal challenges, but also contributes to a positive corporate image, which instils confidence in stakeholders, including customers, investors and regulatory authorities.

4.     Increasing employee satisfaction: a sustainable workplace culture

Beyond the environmental advantages, REcommerce introduces a unique opportunity to enhance employee satisfaction. Through internal auctions, employees gain access to affordable, quality electronics or furniture. This not only boosts morale but also fosters a sustainable workplace culture. Employees become part of a larger initiative, contributing to the company’s commitment to responsible consumption and reducing the overall ecological footprint.

5.     Brand image: enhancing brand image through sustainability

Embracing REcommerce becomes a cornerstone in shaping a positive brand image for businesses. By actively participating in sustainable practices, companies signal a commitment to environmental responsibility. This commitment resonates strongly with modern consumers who increasingly prioritize eco-friendly choices. The decision to adopt REcommerce not only demonstrates a proactive approach to minimizing environmental impact but also creates a unique selling point that sets the brand apart in a competitive market.

6.     Generating additional revenue: unlocking financial opportunities

REcommerce sometimes extends beyond sustainability – it’s a strategic move that can positively impact a company’s bottom line. By transforming obsolete assets into revenue-generating opportunities, businesses can unlock additional financial streams. This dual benefit of sustainability and revenue generation positions REcommerce as a financially viable and responsible business practice.

REcommerce Insights: A Business Case Study

In order to shed light on the tangible benefits and practical implementation of REcommerce, one captivating case study that goes beyond traditional business models will be presented. The case study will showcase the challenge faced, the innovative solution implemented, and the remarkable results achieved. Delving into the details will provide valuable insights into the strategic integration of REcommerce and its implications for the future of sustainable business practices.

The financial institution faced the challenge of efficiently managing depreciated computer equipment and providing an efficient auction channel for the institution’s employees. The solution involved introducing the REcommerce process, which included setting up a REcommerce auction platform (in this case,, where all electronic devices were put up for employee sales.

The generalised REcommerce process in the case of the financial institution consists of, among other things, the following elements:

1.      Loading the statement and description of the equipment into the system

An employee of an external company authorized by the institution prepares a list of computer equipment to be uploaded to the auction system (e.g., computer description, price, attributes, identification number of the current owner of the equipment and his/her email, possible personal data of the owner, other). A service technician loading a file with a description of computers in the system receives feedback about the process of loading data, which enables him to correct possible errors in the file (in the form of an additional file with such information, each time after an attempt to load data is made).

2.      Pre-emption right

The user or employee of the financial institution receives an email with an offer of (time-limited) pre-emption of the equipment he or she has been using. The purchasable computer will have delivery options: courier dispatch and on-site collection in one of three offices. If the pre-emptive offer is taken up, the system sends the employee an email with an attached (automatically generated) contract in PDF form.  

3.      “Public” sales

In a situation where the user does not accept the right of pre-emption (after the expiry of the time period defined by the pre-emption), the auction of the equipment in question returns to the general sales pool (visible and accessible to all institution’s employees). Auctions in the public pool are available as a ‘buy now’ type. The person who first buys/accepts the bid for the agreed price becomes the owner of the item.

4.      Computer preparation

When a purchase is confirmed in the system by an institution’s employee, a special email is generated, allowing the notification to be automatically sent to the financial institution’s REMEDY notification system. Based on the REMEDY notification, the service technician receives information about the need to prepare the computer (data cleaning, installation of Linux, etc.).

5.      Reporting

The system allows automatic generation of cyclical reports on sales (e.g., number of auctions entered in the previous period and since the beginning of the action, number of items sold).

The financial institution’s REcommerce process implemented fits in with the idea of sustainability. It allows the life cycle of electronic equipment to be extended, which reduces the generation of waste and lessens the burden on the environment. The production of one new laptop generates a carbon footprint of an estimated 200 kilograms of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent) or more, so the reuse of 2,000 laptops for private purposes (instead of disposing of them) saves an estimated 400 tons of CO2e for the environment. 

In addition, the implementation of employee sales allowed the institution:

  • Avoid the unnecessary cost of disposing of depreciated computer equipment.
  • Generate additional revenue from the disposal of redundant equipment.
  • Reinforce employee satisfaction with bargain purchases of fully valuable equipment.

The financial institution’s profit from the sale is donated to charity. The company also plans to use the auction system to sell off other items (e.g., furniture, fleet of cars) and to hold internal charity auctions.

Numerous companies across various industries are increasingly embracing the dynamic and rapidly expanding trend of REcommerce processes. This transformative approach has gained remarkable momentum, with a multitude of enterprises recognizing its inherent value and adopting it as an integral part of their business strategy.


As businesses navigate an evolving economic landscape, REcommerce emerges as a beacon of innovation and sustainability. By extending the life of products, reducing waste, and embracing circular economy principles, companies can not only contribute to a healthier planet but also unlock new business opportunities. As the world moves towards a more conscientious approach to consumption, REcommerce stands as a powerful strategy for companies committed to making a positive impact on both their bottom line and, more importantly, the environment.