Waste management & disposal.

  • 11,000 metric tons of cable recycled and up to 90% of materials reused.
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  • 561 used company cell phones and laptops recycled at T-Systems Iberia.
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  • T-Mobile USA reduces waste at headquarters by 40 percent.
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Deutsche Telekom reduced its waste throughout the entire Group by around 10 percent during the reporting period. In order to make our waste management even more resource-efficient we developed a new strategy in December 2011. Our waste is primarily made up to office waste and dismantled equipment from our nationwide network infrastructure.

Recycling 11,000 metric tons of cable.

In 2011 Telekom removed more than 11,000 metric tons of cable, e.g., plastic, lead and corrugated-steel sheathed cable, from ducts in Germany alone. The cable was processed in accordance with environmental standards at certified waste disposal facilities and up to 90 percent was recycled.

Telekom in Germany developed a new waste management strategy in December 2011. The main objective of the new strategy is to increase resource efficiency by:

  • Preventing and reducing waste
  • Recycling devices and technical equipment
  • Recycling valuable materials such as metal and rare earth metals
  • Other measures such as using waste to generate heat
  • Environmentally-friendly disposal of remaining waste
  • Reducing disposal costs and optimizing revenue

The new strategy also includes developing KPIs for improved waste management and implementation monitoring.

International coordination and approval of the waste management strategy and the start of implementation into operational processes and systems are scheduled for 2012.

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Most metals and plastics are introduced back into the production cycle in high quality. There are only minimal production losses involved in dismantling cables and recycling copper. Depending on the composition of the waste, we are able to achieve reuse rates of approximately 70 to 90 percent. Telekom initiates annual audits of cable disposal facilities. We use the results of these audits to optimize dismantling processes together with the firms commissioned and to maximize the amount of copper recovered. We guarantee a high degree of safety and seamless traceability with our control procedure, which is compliant with the statutory waste disposal regulations, and additional internal transportation documentation.

Experts manage systematic network upgrade.

The removal of outdated technology that is no longer necessary is an important measure against the backdrop of ongoing all-IP network expansion to help us conserve energy and save costs in the years to come. At Telekom in Germany, the Power Off task force identifies which unnecessary components can be removed from the network with reasonable effort. These are then removed systematically.

We shut down systems with a total power consumption of 4,286 kW in 2011, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 16,564 metric tons.

We are making considerable progress with dismantling <2 MB transmission systems. During the reporting period, circuit boards with capacities of 3,009 MW were shut down, dismantled and then sent on to be recycled. The circuit boards contain valuable resources such as gold and silver.

In addition to the Save4Service efficiency project that was launched in 2010, the Retire project identified a further 6.5 MW of line capacity during the reporting period that the Power Off task force plans to deactivate in 2012. The valuable components will then be recycled.

e-Waste Academy planned for Ghana.
The e-Waste working group of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative, of which Telekom is a member, is planning to conduct e-Waste Academies on this topic. The Academies are five-day workshops involving international experts as well as experts from governments, administrations and SME disposal companies of developing countries. The purpose of these workshops is to share best practices, increase awareness about electronic scrap and encourage networking. The workshops are also intended to contribute to the creation of a legal framework that will improve the environmental situation without limiting people's employment and income opportunities. The first e-Waste Academy is scheduled to be held in Ghana in late June, 2012.

Slovak Telekom acquires 1,056 metric tons of copper through recycling efforts.

Slovak Telekom was able to acquire 1,056 metric tons of copper from cables through recycling efforts in 2011. This means an increase of 30 tons of recycled cables compared to 2010.

100 percent recycling rate in Great Britain by 2020.

T-Systems UK plans to achieve a recycling rate of 100 percent for the entire waste accumulation of its branch offices by the year 2020. T-Systems UK managed to reduce landfill waste to under 2 percent in 2011 by changing their contractual partner and implementing an accompanying employee awareness campaign. Additional information events will be launched in the future. A current contract amendment with the company's waste disposal partner aims to decrease the landfill waste to less than 1 percent in 2012. In the long run, T-Systems UK intends to significantly reduce the amount of its waste.

Recycling programs at Greek subsidiaries.

Managing raw materials and recycling waste are key elements of environmental management practices at the Greek subsidiary OTE. The company sent a total of 1,481 metric tons of discarded equipment and 40 metric tons of electronic scrap to certified recycling companies in 2011. In addition, ink and toner cartridges used by OTE nationwide will be recycled by a certified recycling company. The relevant contracts were concluded in October 2011.

The phase-out of the old HellasPack data network, which began in July 2011, and the switch-over of customers to state-of-the-art data connections will be completed in 2012. This will reduce electricity consumption by 370 GWh per year, which is equivalent to a saving of 267,288 metric tons of CO2.

Cosmote Greece's subsidiaries, Globul in Bulgaria, Cosmote Romania and the Albanian company AMC, have also implemented a variety of recycling schemes.

  • An internal program was started for recycling paper and plastic waste in 2007. Customers and employees have been able to hand in their used cell phones, batteries and accessories for mobile phones at Globul stores to be recycled since October 2008. The program was expanded in 2010 by including also portable batteries and other electronic waste. Special containers have been placed in the stores and administration buildings for this purpose. Other companies and organizations such as Coca Cola, Sony Ericsson, the British embassy and Shell Bulgaria support the program. In 2011, 163 kg (3,974 pieces) of handsets, mobile phone batteries & accessories and 457 kg (19,498 pieces) of portable batteries were collected as part of the program.
  • Customers and employees of Cosmote Romania have been handing in their used cell phones to be recycled at Cosmote Romania stores and administration buildings since 2010.The internal recycling program for paper, plastic and electronic devices was expanded to include lighting equipment in 2011.
  • AMC launched a national program to recycle office paper in 2010 as part of its environmental management policy. Recycling bins have been placed in all company rooms and next to all copy machines. The bins are emptied daily. The program is being accompanied by an awareness campaign. Paper usage was cut by 4.2 percent in 2011. Moreover, the usage of recycled paper increased by 10.3 percent. This meant that 55.8 percent of paper used was recycled paper.
Collecting used devices in Spain and the Netherlands.

T-Systems Iberia collected a total of 419 discarded company cell phones and 142 company laptops from its 4,157 employees for recycling purposes in 2011.

T-Mobile Netherlands launched a campaign to sensitize its employees to sustainable behavior in the workplace with a film and a cell-phone collection campaign in October 2011. Almost 900 discarded cell phones were collected within two weeks, during which employees also received practical tips on environmentally friendly behavior.

T-Mobile USA reduces waste by 40 percent.

T-Mobile USA conducted various measures during the reporting period under its resource efficiency strategy. As a result, the company was able to reduce waste at headquarters by 40 percent by introducing waste separation. Labeled containers were placed in all of the break rooms to collect organic waste to be composted. An online awareness campaign accompanied the project.

New waste separation system at T-Systems Austria.

In order to reduce the waste volume and to ensure correct waste separation, T-Systems Austria set up separate waste containers in their kitchen areas for residual waste, metal, plastics and glass at the end of February 2012.

In addition to this, each workplace has its own bin and a compartment for scrap paper.


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