Generic Technology, Communication & Online - Ecology Question 14

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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.

Ranking Guidelines

Rank 'Yes' if brands exceed the 5% threshold
Rank 'No' if brands do not exceed the 5% threshold
Rank '?' if brands do not clearly report on respective results

Good Practices

Electronics brands: good practices are identified at Fairphone. Furthermore, Toshiba is one of the few companies that reports the material footprint and subsequently the recycling rate, which was around 10% in FY14 see pages 23, 53 & 54. However, by now most other electronics brands are lagging behind by not reporting a (concrete) material footprint or recycling rates at all.

Telecom brands: good practices are identified at KPN, which states that, to recycle user equipment, they collected 28% of the mobile phones they sold, and 62% of the fixed equipment that was exchanged (see page 51). Also Vodafone Netherlands specifies to have collected 83,841 old phones for recycling and reuse in the Netherlands in 2015/16, which is 9% of the number of phones sold in that year (see page 47 & 51). Additionally, also Deutsche Telekom reports on respective measures and results, against total number of customers in Germany (5,7% in 2015) (see page 164).

Eligible 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 eligible, as long as it is clear what mass has been collected on behalf of the company AND recycled in a responsible way. The example 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.