What is “ZERO PC”, an ethical PC?

~Interview with People Port K.K.~

Mirai no Mori is participating in the “Omou Project” by People Port Co. In that project, 3% (10% during the campaign) of the purchase price of a computer is donated to NPOs that work to solve social problems in various fields.
The PCs sold are not ordinary PCs, but are called ZERO PCs, which are ethical PCs that aim for zero environmental burden and zero refugees.The project reduces the burden on the environment by recycling PCs that would be disposed of by some companies.In addition, refugees living in Japan are involved in the upcycling process, creating jobs for them and contributing to the zero refugee goal.

For more information on the Omou Project and ZERO PC, please check below.

This time, we had the opportunity to interview Ms. Tanaka of People Port K.K.!
We asked her about the ZERO PC and the project, which is filled with a variety of thoughts and ideas.

What made you start cooperating with NPOs?

We started cooperating with NPOs in October 2020. Although we are a limited company, we wanted to expand the range of what we can do, so we started the Souhou Project in order to work with many NPOs that are working on social issues. 
Incidentally, we had a connection with Mirai no Mori when they asked us to pick up their old PCs. Through receiving several requests, we felt that there was a high affinity between our activities and those of Mirai no Mori, so we decided to ask them to join our project.

Please let me know if there are any new points you discovered through the project.

We have held talk events with organizations participating in the project on topics such as emergency humanitarian aid, child labor, and creating playgrounds for children. At the event, we invite speakers who are familiar with their respective fields, such as NPO representatives and fundraising managers. We feel that these events not only allow our supporters to learn more about our activities, but also provide an opportunity to delve deeper into social issues.
Also, there are many applications from the general public for the talking events. By joining together to create an event, we feel that we can help increase interest in social issues.
In addition, many NPO supporters are corporations and they purchase many ZERO PCs, which sometimes leads to a large number of donations. For corporations, it is also a good PR opportunity to contribute to social causes.
Each of us feels the benefits of different aspects of the project, which is something new we have discovered through the Omou Project.

It was mentioned on the website that there are opportunities to interact with the local community as a support for the refugees, please tell us specifically what kind of support is being provided.

It’s not like we’re holding an event, but the first floor of our office building is covered with glass. So, the way they work can be seen by people passing by outside. Sometimes there are people who come in like “What is your company doing?”. When we open a store at a shopping mall in the Kanto area, there are times when we are carrying in products and maintenance members  are standing at the store. In that sense, there are opportunities to interact with local people.
Also, we are always open to office tours! It’s always possible, so I’d like everyone to come here! 

Are there any opportunities for social exchange that you would like to expand in the future?

Things we would like to expand on are the “PC Disassembly Workshops,” which were held last year and were extremely successful. Although it is not common for people to disassemble PCs, some parents and children participated in the workshop, and they were very interested in it.
We thought about  : How is a PC made inside? Where do the materials come from? 
As we traced them, we learned that children are working in mines in Africa, for example. We get a chance to study the world that we had missed by disassembling PCs.

Please let us know if there are any goals or support that you would like to achieve through ZERO PC in the future.

Our goal is to employ 100 refugees in our company. At the moment, we are only at 7 people total, but even though it is a far way off, it is a goal that we hope to achieve in the near future. Also, we would like to approach other companies that will accept them as human resources.
Furthermore, we have a goal to have a software development division and to open a branch overseas in the future. Not limited to the PC upcycling business, we would like to create a place where refugees can work in a safe environment, enjoy themselves, and use their abilities, so I think that anything is fine and there are many possibilities regarding the type of business.

Are you planning to open an overseas branch?

Yes, it is still a goal far in the future, but we hope to have an overseas branch. Rather than wanting to grow the company, this is influenced by the refugee status rate in Japan. In Japan, the refugee status rate is very strict and currently only about 0.4% of the population is recognized as refugees.If we could develop our business in a country that actively accepts refugees, it would be possible to apply for refugee status overseas, with support from our company, rather than waiting to be recognized as a refugee in Japan.

Please give a message to those who are thinking of purchasing ZERO PC.

First of all, I would like to tell you that you can change our society with just one purchase. Today, many people of all generations use PCs. Ethical consumption is often discussed these days, so where you buy that computer is one big decision, and there is no doubt that by choosing our company, you will be making a step toward improving society.
And used computers are definitely more reasonable than buying a new one! Except for professional use, playing the latest games, etc., you probably don’t need the latest specs in many cases, even for work.
Also, the hard disk in the computer is replaced with a new one during maintenance, so the operation is not so different from a new one. After-sales service is also excellent, with a one-year free repair guarantee, and immediate support online or by phone, so even if this is the first time for you to use a used PC, you can use it with confidence, which I believe is one of the best things about ZERO PC. As for the Omou project, your purchase will help support NPOs, including Mirai no Mori, so please consider supporting this project.

The price and one-year free support of ZERO PCs are attractive, of course, but they are even more attractive when we learn that ZERO PCs are working on social issues such as child labor and environmental problems in the process of PC manufacturing.Ethical consumption and ethical lifestyles are getting more and more attention, and ZERO PC can help realize this.

The following are the URLs of People Port, Inc. and the ZERO PC product page.
Please take a look!