The Disruptors: Sustainable IT company turns the tide on e-waste

Network 2 Supplies (N2S) in Bury St Edmunds factory

Network 2 Supplies (N2S) in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk is using biotechnology to extract valuable metals from printed circuit boards - Credit: Archant

The Disruptors tells the stories of start-ups across East Anglia turning revolutionary ideas into reality. Executive chairman Andrew Gomarsall MBE explains why Network 2 Supplies (N2S) in Bury St Edmunds is the fastest growing technology lifecycle management company in the UK. 

Tell us about N2S.   

Our circular and highly sustainable IT asset lifecycle solutions extend the life of existing technology equipment and optimise the recovery of valuable materials from printed circuit boards and cabling when devices are no longer serviceable.

We dispose of unusable assets responsibly and ethically to turn the tide on the tsunami of e-waste. Each year we recycle around 250,000 IT devices with none of the processed equipment going to landfill. 

N2S provides science-based metrics with its Environmental Impact Reporting in pursuit of decarbonisation and net-zero targets, supporting a circular economy in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.  

How do you use invention and innovation to disrupt the market? 

We are collaborating with Coventry University to harness the power of biotechnology to extract valuable, precious and rare earth metals from printed circuit boards in an environmentally-friendly way. N2S was awarded government funding through Innovate UK and is now rapidly scaling up this process through substantial private investment at our biotech laboratory.  

Our green refining process complements our existing range of services, effectively closing the loop in delivering a truly sustainable and circular IT asset lifecycle management solution to both private and public sector organisations. In partnership with the DEFRA e-Sustainability Alliance and the Environment Agency, we aim to use our game-changing bioleaching solution in supporting the UK government’s “greening industry” initiative to create new jobs while decarbonising the economy. 

N2S founder and director Jack Gomarsall (left) and executive chairman Andrew Gomarsall MBE (right)

N2S founder and director Jack Gomarsall (left) and executive chairman Andrew Gomarsall MBE (right) - Credit: N2S Ltd

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What are you most proud of? 

We are proud to lead the IT asset disposal industry with active and creative partnerships across government, academia and industry working towards the common goal of sustainability.  

Furthermore, we create significant job opportunities for the local region, providing stimulating, rewarding and secure employment for people from all walks of life in the fast-growing sustainability sector. 

What advice do you have for someone launching a disruptive start-up? 

Do not borrow money until you have proven that the company is profitable and viable. 

What are your plans for the future? 

We are looking to more than double our 95-strong workforce over the coming 12 months. Many of the new recruits will be located at Bury St Edmunds where the company has operated its flagship IT equipment sales, refurbishment and recycling facility for almost 20 years. With the help of significant growth capital, we plan to rapidly expand the business by maximising the domestic and international market opportunities available. 

For more information, please visit n2s.co.uk 

The Disruptors video series is produced in association with the University of East Anglia and the Cambridge Norwich Tech Corridor.

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