Through our environmental policy and objectives we have committed ourselves to manage and reduce the environmental impacts of our operations and we have established a precise and detailed monitoring system for all materials and resources we use. This enables us to identify the improvement potential and establish targeted actions and measures on the aspects within our control.
To advance our material efficiency and waste management we developed our strategy around 7 key principles:
- Monitoring materials consumption associated with our operations;
- Reduce the usage of materials with high environmental impacts in their production phase;
- Prevent waste generation whenever is possible;
- Reuse whenever possible the materials or recycle them through specialized companies;
- Manage all electric and electronic waste to prevent environmental impact;
- Develop products and services which contribute to dematerialization;
- Enhance environmental awareness, internally and externally, to increase participation in recycling practices.
We focus on managing our packaging materials, reduce our waste quantities and increase the recycling rate. In the same time we are developing initiatives and programmes to support collection and recycling of old electric and electronic equipment from the market.
We control all package materials used in commercial and marketing activities, monitoring monthly the consumption of wood, plastic, cardboard and paper consumption.
Our commercial operations use packaging materials to pack, transport and deliver our product to shops and customers. Also, we are using package materials within marketing and administrative activities. Within this category, we are monitoring the following material: plastic, paper and cardboard, wood. In 2015 our consumption structure of packaging materials shifted as we moved towards replacing plastic based packaging with paper, cardboard and wood.
We are classifying the waste generated by our fixed and mobile operations in main categories, according to specific criteria.
- Hazardous waste (lead batteries, lamps, portable batteries);
- Technical waste generated during technical operations on our networks and systems (e.g. cables, metals, electronic and telecommunication equipment) and used products (e.g. phones and related accessories, etc.);
- Others (waste categories not included in the previous categories, such as residual waste).
All materials that can be recycled or managed in an environmental way are disposed separately with authorized contractors and the rest of the waste is sent to landfills or incinerated.
In 2015 we have produced 6,927.70 tons of waste and we managed to recycle a total 3,255.98 tons of waste. Internally, our awareness rising efforts focused on paper, cardboard and mobile devices and accessories recycling and we saw an increase of recycling rate of all these categories.
- 2,469.5 t cables, aluminum and cooper were sent to recycling in 2015;
- 578.89 t of IT and telecommunication equipment was sent to recycling in 2015;
- Paper recycling reached 10% as we managed to recycle 101.33 t out of total 1,121.91 t generated;
- 2.68 tons of plastic have been collected and sent for recycling;
- Mobile devices and accessories recycling quantity was 0.71t compared with 13.64 tons in 2014.
The waste types included in our hazardous waste category are the lead batteries which we use in base stations as energy backup source, lubricants, lamps, car oil and batteries. In 2015 we have collected and eliminated with the help of authorized companies 100% of our hazardous waste, without any environmental incident. Lead batteries represent 99% of the hazardous waste and the yearly quantity of lead batteries waste we collect depends directly on the number of batteries reaching the end of their lifetime.
Metals, cables, wood, electrical and electronic equipment withdrawn from service represents the major part of our technical waste. Beside these categories we are also including here the WEEE collected within our offices and shops, mobile and fixed phones, phone accessories, batteries and ink cartridges. The difference between 2014 and 2015 quantities of recycled technical waste is determined by the cycle of replacing old infrastructure and equipment, which is not constant over the years.
When it comes to paper, our efforts are oriented towards reduction of consumption and increasing recycling. In 2015 we consumed 66.9 tons of paper in our offices, 4.5% less compared with the 70.08 tons in 2014. In terms of waste, we have recycled 10% of total paper and cardboard waste generated, respectively 101.33 t out of total 1,121.91 t generated. Our “Green Office” initiative, active from 2008, is playing an important role in increasing the awareness of our employees.
GREEN OFFICE represents the Telekom Romania internal environmental awareness rising platform addressing the topics of material, energy and waste. It enables internal communication, events and activities which highlights the importance of everyday life behaviour of our employees in protecting the environment. In 2015 we have collected 0.71t of phones, batteries and accessories through “one-to-one” mechanisms.
IT hardware and telecommunication equipment represent the main WEEE type we collect and manage. In 2015 we have continued our modernization programme by replacing old equipment. We have decommissioned and collected 578.89t of IT hardware and telecommunication equipment. We have also collected 1.97t of small WEEE (MP3, cameras, etc.). In order to manage and control the environmental impact of the ink cartridges, we are reusing as much cartridges as possible through refilling and for the rest which are at the end of their refilling cycle, we have established a separate collection systems which help us to send all unused cartridges to authorized companies for recycling. In 2015 we have reused a total number of 195 cartridges and we have sent for recycling 0.42t.