Ericsson and MTN Côte d’Ivoire have announced a partnership to drive the awareness and collection of electronic waste (e-waste). This initiative is a first of its kind in the country, and will be launched October 7, 2015 in Abidjan.
The campaign which is guided by Ericsson’s Ecology Management Program is geared towards creating awareness, changing behavior and minimizing the potential environmental impact associated with the disposal of decommissioned electrical and electronic equipment.
According to UN StEP (Solving the global E-Waste Problem), by 2017 global e-waste will reach 65.4 million tonnes, one-third higher than in 2012. Poorly disposed or recycled e-waste is an under acknowledged environmental hazard around the world, which has dire consequences on people’s health, welfare and living conditions. West Africa is reportedly one of the worst hit regions in the world, as large quantities of end of life materials disposed globally are dumped here, often illegally. This project provides a sound platform for raising awareness of this issue among the general population as well as with key government and business stakeholders.
Mr. Freddy TCHALA, CEO of MTN Côte d’Ivoire: “The electronic waste collection campaign initiated as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility policy is special as it will raise awareness of the harmful effects of electrical and electronic waste on the environment and the quality of life. Collection depots will be provided to safely and securely collect decommissioned electrical and electronic equipment and sent out of Côte d’Ivoire to be recycled by a specialist company”.
Beyond creating awareness, MTN and Ericsson will unveil a collection depot at a select location in the city capital of Abidjan. Locals are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to rid their homes and environs of electronic waste, especially household telecom equipment such as computers, phones, routers, printers, cables, TVs, radios etc . A number of prizes and other incentives will be on offer to individuals who participate in the program and hand in old or broken electronic equipment.
Mr. Fredrik Jejdling, Head of Region, sub-Saharan: We have been in the business of connecting communities in Africa for over 100 years, and continue to build the Networked Society in Africa today. Our global Ecology Management Program seeks to safeguard the environment for our future business and Africa’s future generations by ensuring that our obsolete technology and that of our customers are handled and treated in an environmentally sound manner – we ensure that more than 95% of the materials in products taken back are recycled. This exceptional partnership with MTN extends this service to the wider community, offering the people of Côte d’Ivoire the opportunity to do the right thing and ensure their e-waste is not impacting negatively the environment.”
As part of the company’s extended producer responsibility, Ericsson globally provides free product retrieval and safe disposal services to all customers, for equipment that has reached its shelf life. The company continues to expand its ecology management program involving more countries and increasing take-back volumes for its customers. In January 2015 a similar project was run by Ericsson and MTN Benin.