Waste management & disposal.
The amount of waste produced throughout the Group increased slightly compared to 2011. The waste we produce is primarily comprised of office waste and dismantled equipment from our network infrastructure throughout Germany. In order to make our waste management processes more efficient, we coordinated our new international waste management approaches developed in December 2011 with our international subsidiaries in 2012. However, we had to postpone implementation of the operative processes and systems at the Group units, which was scheduled for 2012, because of the ongoing coordination process. Mandatory policies and key performance indicators (KPIs) will be key components of our international waste management activities. Each international subsidiary will use these as a basis for setting clear goals and developing effective measures locally.
The removal of outdated technology that is no longer necessary is an important measure against the backdrop of ongoing all-IP network expansion to help us conserve energy and save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. The Retire project at Telekom in Germany identifies which of the components that are no longer being used can be removed from the network at reasonable cost and effort.
By shutting down systems with a total electricity consumption of 4.51 MW in 2012, we are able to prevent CO2 emissions amounting to 18,213 tons. The valuable components will then be recycled.
For example, we shut down all of our transmission systems with bandwidths of less than 2 Mbit/s in 2012. In 2012, this was the equivalent of 1.05 MW of saved energy (2011: 2.4 MW) with a reduction in our annual CO2 emissions of 3,941 metric tons. All of the 25,000 or so network components with bandwidths below 2 Mbit/s are going to be recycled.
T-Systems in the Czech Republic undertook a radical renewal of its waste management system in the reporting period. Hazardous waste (e.g. fluorescent lamps, batteries, chemicals, et cetera) is handled in a legally compliant manner by a specialist waste management company. Waste responsibilities within the company have been stringently defined with one waste manager per site controlling waste management implementation. The company's logistics department is now responsible for returning and recycling electronic waste. A specialist company deals with common waste and all waste-related information is integrated and monitored by the company's internal process system. During the reporting period the company collected 381 kilogram of electronic waste and batteries, 30 kilogram of cartridges and 2,650 kilogram of waste paper.
In 2012, Telekom removed more than 9,000 tons of copper cable from duct systems in Germany alone. The cable was processed in accordance with environmental standards at certified waste disposal facilities and up to 90 percent of the material was recycled.
Over the course of network upgrading, Telekom conducted a pilot study to assess resource efficiency and the contribution to reducing CO2 resulting from recycling cables. We used values on energy consumption, climate change and resource consumption to calculate the results. They were presented in March 2013 and showed that recycling copper generates significantly less greenhouse gas emissions than primary source extraction. Resource consumption during cable recycling was only a small fraction of the primary resources regained from the process.Find out more
Recycling enables most metals and plastics to be 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.
The exponential growth figures for cellphone and smartphone usage hide a serious problem: What do you do with your old phone? Throughout the Deutsche Telekom Group subsidiaries are tackling this key issue.
In Poland, PTC's mobile phone and battery recycling campaign resulted in the collection of 1,119.65 kilogram of mobile phones, 669.23 kilogram of accessories and 940.34 kilogram of chargers during the reporting period.
At Slovak Telekom a prize competition to find the company's "biggest mobilecologist" was staged for four weeks from November to December 2012. The idea was that employees clean up their houses before Christmas and get rid of old cell phones by handing them in at their place of work or bringing them to one of Slovak Telekom's shops. Ecological recycling was assured since 90% of material was to be reused. In all, nearly 1,000 old cell phones were collected as a result of the competition.
T-Mobile in the Czech Republic is participating in a project that aims to heighten children's recycling awareness and education. One aspect of the project is an old phone collection competition for schools. As a result, a total of 22,782 phones were collected. The winning schools were invited to an award ceremony at T-Mobile headquarters, where they also had the chance to see the company's alternative energy sources.
A systematic recycling program was introduced at the Group's two largest office buildings employing some 4,000 people in all. This program involves recycling office paper, plastic, aluminum and other packaging materials, batteries and electric or electronic waste.
In the reporting period both companies continued with their programs for monitoring and measuring the separate collection of different types of waste, which is then delivered to recycling companies through subcontractors.
A "Collect batteries and Win" competition offered prizes to Romtelecom employees for collecting waste batteries and accumulators. A campaign to promote environmental awareness and the selective collection of electric or electronic waste involved distributing 20,600 flyers via the company's shops as well as posting messages on its website and Facebook. Containers for selective collection of waste cartridges and toners were placed at Romtelecom sites. Last but not least, new recycling contracts were signed for all types of waste generated by the company's activities.