As a leading telecommunications and technology company, we are reliant on large volumes of electronic equipment to operate our network. The rapid evolution of technology requires us to continuously upgrade our network and has also increased customer demand for the latest devices – resulting in the increasing quantities of equipment becoming e-waste. Responsible management has become one of our most significant product stewardship issues.
The electronic equipment used by our networks and customers is made from critical finite materials, including rare earth minerals. The manufacture and distribution of electronic equipment also requires significant energy and resources associated with packaging and transport. However, in all of these areas, we also see opportunity – in cost savings from reduced and recycled raw materials, and in the development of more efficient products that appeal to a more eco-conscious market. We are promoting more flexible mobile plans that encourage consumers to lease rather than purchase the latest smartphones.
These initiatives present a unique opportunity for Telstra to unlock value through greater materials efficiency, keeping resources in use for as long as possible, recovering and remanufacturing products at the end of their service life, and providing an environmentally sustainable message that our employees and suppliers can carry to the wider community.
Progress in FY17
- Launched our new Go Mobile Swap and My Business Mobile Lease plans
- Launched our first Electronics Reuse and Recycling Strategy
- Collected 19.9 tonnes of mobile phones and accessories through the MobileMuster program, exceeding our target of 17 tonnes
- We collected 4,353 tonnes of e-waste with a recycling rate of 99.9 per cent
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