Swisscom’s Mobile Aid circular economy program is celebrating a milestone: one million old mobile phones have been donated since the program was launched. The proceeds from their resale have already made it possible to finance 5 million meals for children in distress.
It is estimated that around 8 million mobile phones lie idle in drawers in Switzerland. Defective devices are a veritable goldmine, as they contain valuable raw materials that can and should be recycled.
Since 2012, users have been able to deposit their old mobile phones in a “Mobile Aid” donation box in Swisscom shops.
The devices are sorted by the social enterprise Réalise in Switzerland. All personal data is erased. Functional cell phones are resold on the international used cell phone market. In Switzerland, defective devices are disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner by a company approved by SWICO. Proceeds from resale and recycling are donated to the organization SOS Children’s Villages, which cares for needy children around the world.
Social and environmental sustainability
Besides the charitable aspect of the donation of old mobile phones by Mobile Aid, the program is important for ecological reasons. To manufacture a new mobile phone and other electronic devices requires a large number of raw materials, such as rare earths, which are becoming increasingly sought after on our planet and whose extraction is carbon-intensive. The reuse of the raw materials already exploited, that is to say their recycling, becomes all the more important. With Secondlife programs such as Mobile Aid, companies encourage the circular economy and ensure that resources are used in their own country.
Most Sustainable Telecommunications Company for the second time
Almost at the same time as it reached the milestone of one million donated mobile phones, Swisscom was named the world’s most sustainable telecommunications company for the second time.
The prize is awarded by the World Finance Magazine. An international jury praised Swisscom’s 20 years of commitment to sustainable development. The Sustainability Awards recognize companies that are committed to implementing significant environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) measures while continually seeking ways to improve their efforts. in terms of sustainable development. The jury particularly praised Swisscom’s focus on the Paris Agreement, its contribution to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its overall Sustainable Development Strategy. The committee recognizes the business practices and ethics of Swisscom, its leading role in defining an ambitious sustainable development strategy in the telecommunications sector and the issuance of Green Bonds to promote sustainable and technological progress.
Marius Schlegel is in charge of ecological services, Swisscom Mobile Aid, the WWF partnership, climate and energy policy.
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