Electronics Update Question 3

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Has the brand (company) a take back program and is the take back recyling rate higher than 5% of the weight of the annually products sold?
NL: Biedt het merk (bedrijf) een inzamelingsservice voor oude producten en is het inzamelings- en recyclingspercentage hoger dan 5% van het gewicht van de jaarlijks verkochte producten?
DE: Bietet der Markenhersteller ein Rücknahmeprogramm für alte Produkte an? Ist die Rücknahmequote, im Vergleich zum Gewicht aller jährlich abgesetzten Produkte, höher als 5%?


This question is based on issue O4 of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics version 18 from November 2012. Click 'ranking criteria' in the box on the right side of the Greenpeace webpage. On page 12 of the document you find the Greenpeace requirements. Where Greenpeace focussed on the availability of take back services, at Rank a Brand we focus on the actual take back rate, based on the take back recycled weight and the annually sold weight of products.

Best Practices

Best practice is found at Fairphone, having an actual recycling rate of almost 300% with recycling 75.000 phones to 25.000 sold phones. Also Toshiba is one of the few companies that reports the material footprint and subsequently the recycling rate, which is around 8%. An almost-best-practice is shown by Apple. As was required by Greenpeace, Apple reports the recycling rate of products, based on the time the recycled products were sold, meaning with a delay of several years. Although this metric makes sense too, it is not comparable to the more common and simple metric based on the annual material footprint. Other brands are lagging behind by not reporting a material footprint or recycling rates at all.

Eligble Accounting

At this stage we do not require brands to collect only their own branded electronics, also other branded electronics are eligible. Neither do we require brands to take care of the collection of dispatched electronics themselves, also clear investments in external projects will be eligbe, as long as it is clear what mass has been collected on behalf of the company AND recycled in a responsible way. The best practive of Fairphone shows a mass balance principle with an investment in the organisation Closing the Loop that collects scrap electronics from Africa for responsible recycling in Belgium.