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2014 Activities Report: Turning hardships into opportunities!

Dearest Partners,

At least 5 Mio computers are abandoned in China every year and most of them will be dismantled in a very rough way. Meanwhile more than 50 million rural students in China have no access to computers.

Founded in March 2013, Netspring Social Enterprise is turning three years old. Our vision is to turn e-waste into education:  many obsolete computers are still in a good condition and could be reused after appropriate repair. At the same time, we hope to become a successful social enterprise to enable stakeholders to participate in solving society’s problems through a feasible business model.

To achieve this vision, our “Green IT Classrooms” project includes the following missions:

1. To promote environmental protection, as well equal opportunities in education and the concept of social enterprises: Social Wellness for All, Environmental Protection by All.

We help educate citizens, community members, and businesses in environmental protection. In the past three years, we have organized and participated in more than 17 awareness events.

And so we were especially touched, in the summer of 2013, to meet Mr. Liu from Haimen, Jiangsu province. Mr Liu, who works in Shanghai, delivered two old computers to our recycling workshop on the back of his motorcycle. We have met many foreigners who have a sense of environmental awareness and deliver e-waste from their homes to our recycling workshops, but Mr. Liu was the first Mainland Chinese to do it.

Our performance results are difficult to measure but we are proud to share with you that more and more business managers are beginning to understand the meaning and needs of our “commercially operated social project”.

Read more: Netspring attended Spark Her Startup Academy 2014-12

2. To construct more Netspring Green IT Classrooms, support more businesses to launch more corporate volunteering activities in schools, and help teachers to make better use of our IT classroom’s 3-year maintenance services. Doing all this allows more discarded computers to generate greater value for our society.

From March 2012 when Netspring was officially established, up till mid-November 2014, we have established 44 refurbished IT classrooms in different provinces, which have helped more than 20,000 students and teachers, enabling them to maintain close connections with the world. In 2014, a total of 9 green IT classrooms were built and put into operation. Most of them received 3 years’ maintenance and support. 

2014 was also our first time to receive practical support from the government. This is a direction that we have longed for as it can help us to increase our social impact. Following our set-up of 6 green computer classrooms in migrant primary schools in Taicang city, the local Education Bureau decided at the end of 2014 to allocate some funds to support IT education in 4 additional schools for  migrant children.

Read more: ALCOA's 10 Green multimedia classrooms

Read more: The 3rd PerkinElmer Green IT Classroom in Taicang (2014-10-29)

3. To help community residents and businesses dispose of electronic waste through environmentally friendly methods, for free;

In the past two years, we dismantled approximately 20 tons of electronic waste in an eco-friendly way.

4. To support NGOs’ office computer needs

Over a one year period, we have provided support for a total of 11 NGOs and grassroots organizations. We offered them 3-year leases for refurbished computers at a very low price. This includes 3 years of hardware maintenance and technical support services.


Some partners have concerns over our business model. As a social enterprise, we seek a reasonable profit to ensure that our organization can run smoothly and provide high-quality services. We are happy to announce that, after three years of efforts, we have almost achieved break-even. We are an organization of integrity, accountable to our investors, to our corporate clients, to the society at large and to ourselves! 

To accomplish our mission as described above, we rely on the profit generated from the project management service fees charged to companies for the planning and organization of Green IT Classrooms.

In 2014, we have been especially proud of the following achievements:

•       First volunteer base: Together with Nu Skin China, we built a volunteer base at Xingguang Migrant School in Fengxian District. Starting from a Green IT Classroom, we built a recreational activity room and assisted Nu Skin to organise weekly volunteering activities at the school. We prepared a series of English classes and performing arts courseware, to the delight of the corporate volunteers and the children.

•       First non-Classroom related volunteer event design: In September 2014, we designed a 10km Charity Hiking & Sharing fundraiser for the American company Synopsys. The event integrated activities with migrant children and Synopsys’ employees, and was very well received by the staff, who was touched by our sincere attitude in executing things. Recently, we have also begun to provide advisory services for Nu Skin China’s “Care Team Volunteer Base”, to help the company make full use of their limited CSR budget.

This type of CSR event designing made our small team very excited. New trials are certainly helpful in tackling new issues. Living our personal values and raising overall participation is definitely not just a slogan at Netspring.

Partners of Netspring also make good use of the Green IT Classrooms to reach out to a larger population in need. Operating as a social enterprise not only enables Netspring to function as the professional executor of the Green IT Classrooms program, but also to become a public platform on which people can express in their own ways their concern for the environment and for our lovely children.

  • During 2013 and 2014, through the Green IT Classrooms program we found out about six families with particular hardships and helped to channel financial support from donors to them. In June 2013, after the implementation of Bayer Green IT Classroom in Chongqing, we continued to pay attention to this school, and arranged to put in an air-conditioner, as well as support one year’s living expenses for two particularly poor students, together with Bayer’s volunteer team. We were happy to see the students’ progress during our return visit in our September 2014 return visit.
  • Between June and November 2014, Netspring also helped to send items such as new and second hand winter clothing, books and stationery to 4 neighbouring primary schools deep in the mountains.

Together, we can “create shared value”. We thank our caring partners for their support of the Green IT Classrooms program. With your support, we are able to provide better education to the rural and migrant children, and improve environmental protection in China! Thank you all!

Netspring Ally & Yoyo & Pingping