Phone & cell phone recycling.

  • 2012 Ethical Cooperation Award received for 2011 cell-phone recycling campaign.
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Deutsche Telekom is dedicated to cell-phone reuse and recycling and has launched various campaigns to collect used devices. Together with its customers, the company makes an important contribution to conserving natural resources and protecting the climate and the environment with these activities within the scope of its "low carbon society" CR action area. Using cell phones as long as possible helps conserve resources while recycling provides us with valuable raw materials.

Used Cell-Phone Collection CR KPI.

We have been measuring the Used Cell-Phone Collection CR KPI since the financial year 2010 in order to highlight the importance of collecting used cell phones. This KPI compares the collected cell phones, measured in piece items and the equivalent in kilograms, with the number of customers at the respective international subsidiary.

For a detailed description of the CR KPIs, go to Strategy and management.

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According to the European WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), manufacturers of new electrical and electronic devices in Europe are under the obligation to take back used devices free of charge and dispose of them properly. Deutsche Telekom is involved in this process beyond the scope of these legal requirements with targeted initiatives for collecting used devices.

Data privacy poses a particular challenge when collecting cell phones. Telekom's Data Privacy and Data Security department is involved in the collection system to guarantee data privacy and keep customer data from being misused.

Cell-phone collection campaign.

In 2012, we collected a total of 207,543 used cell phones in Germany in the course of different campaigns and either had them repaired for reuse or recycled professionally. For each cell phone that was turned in, Telekom donated part of the proceeds to the Deutsche Umwelthilfe e.V. (DUH) environmental organization.

Around 25 percent of the material that makes up cell phones are valuable metals, some of which are mined or extracted under problematic working and environmental conditions. That makes recycling particularly important. Telekom supported the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research's educational initiative, "The raw materials expedition—discover what's hidden inside your cell phone," in 2012 to raise consumer awareness and to encourage people to take a more sustainable approach to cell-phone use.

The initiative was launched in the context of the Science Year 2012 "Project Earth: Our Future" to raise awareness among young people on how to use valuable resources responsibly through scientifically founded classroom material and collecting used cell phones. Telekom helped the Federal Ministry of Education and Research run the initiative and conducted its own ongoing cell-phone collection campaign as part of the initiative from September to mid-November 2012. The company also advertised for its customers and the public to join in and donated attractive prizes for the school competition in which more than 1,600 schools participated. In addition, Telekom supported the first state-wide cell-phone collection campaign conducted by the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment and Public Health, "Smart cell-phone disposal" from April 30 to June 30, 2012, by providing organizational advice and donating prizes for schools. Around 70,000 used cell phones were collected during this time. In cooperation with the Deutsche Umwelthilfe environmental organization, Telekom sponsored a cell-phone collection campaign conducted by the Odysso science program, which is broadcast by the German SWR television broadcasting company. People sent in 3,500 used cell phones to SWR in the course of the campaign. Telekom donated EUR 3,000 of the proceeds to Deutsche Umwelthilfe.

In June 2012, Telekom received the internationally renowned Ethical Cooperation Award 2012, presented by the online magazine, Ethical Corporation, for its successful cell phone recycling campaign in 2011 to benefit the children's charity organization "Ein Herz für Kinder".

Last year's CR report

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Around two-thirds of all German citizens have a total of 85.5 million old and unused cell phones sitting around in their homes. Those were the findings of a study conducted by the BITKOM industry association in 2012. That is why Telekom has been working to raise consumer awareness and increase the number of returned and recycled cell phones for ten years. Some used cell phones can be reused after a few repairs and erasing any personal information still on the phone. We can recycle cell phones that require repairs that are too extensive, giving us valuable raw materials such as silver, gold and copper.

Recycling programs in Romania and Greece.

Cosmote Romania: "I love recycling" program.
To mark Earth Hour in March 2012, Cosmote redirected the public's attention to its environmental program "I love recycling," which focuses on the importance of collecting and recycling old mobile phones and accessories. For each of the nearly 1,900 mobile phones and accessories collected from the beginning of the campaign up to the end of September 2012, Cosmote Romania planted a tree near the city of Ploiesti on November 10. Cosmote Romania also had an additional 5,000 trees planted on a one-hectare site as part of the Adopt a Forest program. Almost 200 volunteers participated in the planting events: Cosmote and Germanos employees, their families, external volunteers and school students.

COSMOTE: "Join Us in Recycling."
Since 2005, Cosmote has been implementing a recycling program for mobile phones, accessories, batteries and ink cartridges in all Cosmote and Germanos shops and Cosmote buildings. In order to raise public awareness about this issue in 2012, Cosmote ran a campaign of print ads, which was launched on World Environment Day.