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  • 2019 Corporate Responsibility Report

Mobile device collection

Deutsche Telekom is voluntarily committed to collecting used cell phones beyond the legal requirements. This allows for functional devices to continue being used and the remaining devices to be professionally recycled. We transport all collected devices in a controlled and safe manner to the Telekom Recycling Center. Each device is then electronically recorded and registered in a database. Around 10 to 15 percent of them are suitable for reuse. A DEKRA-certified process is used to carefully erase all of the previous users’ data from these cell phones and smartphones. Defective cell phones or devices, for which certified data erasure would be too costly, are properly recycled using state-of-the-art, environmentally-friendly processes at the Telekom Recycling Center in Western Europe. Up to 100 percent of the materials are reused – as recycled metals or for energy generation.

Deutsche Telekom complies with high security standards as regards data protection during the entire process for returning old cell phones. During the collection, transport and thorough erasure of data from the used devices by a certified specialist company in Germany, we rely on secure solutions which correspond to state-of-the-art technology. The entire collection process by our partner Teqcycle was certified by DEKRA in terms of data protection compliance.

Old mobile devices can be returned by post or deposited in a Deutsche Telekom collection box. Everyone can get involved in cell phone collection via the online portal and order a free collection box.

In order to reduce the ecological footprint when buying new smartphones, we have developed the sustainable smartphone lifecycle - a central element of our environmental program.

The proceeds from marketing and recycling are used to support projects in nature conservation and environmental protection as well as social projects organized by the partners of the cell phone collection center. And, as a bonus, the joint cell phone collection system set up by Deutsche Telekom and Teqcycle was awarded the Blue Angel eco-label.

Cornelia Szyszkowitz

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Cornelia Szyszkowitz