Nokia 'takes back' to give back to the environment

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | January 02, 2009
The mobile phone supplier announces a recycling initiative across the country to create a better environment

Nokia & #BANNER1 & # has launched a green initiative to make India's environment better. Last week, the mobile phone supplier announced a Take Back campaign to initiate an e-waste recycling programme.

Under the initiative, the company will encourage people to dispose of mobile handsets and other accessories such as chargers once their utility is over. The initiative is valid for all brands of mobiles.

The campaign will be initiated in three cities - Bengaluru, Delhi and Gurgaon, and Ludhiana - for the initial month. Subsequently, it will be taken to other parts of the country in a phased manner.

D Shivakumar, vice-president and managing director, Nokia India, says in an official communiqué, "Nokia is a responsible brand and company. We want to contribute positively in every associated community and the issues that concern the community."

He adds, "Ecology is one of the biggest concerns today and, as an industry leader, Nokia has designed India's first Take-Back programme for mobile handsets. This programme covers not just Nokia handsets, but all mobile phones. That is Nokia's unique contribution."

For the purpose, Nokia has set up recycling bins across Nokia priority dealer and Nokia care centres. For every handset received, the company will plant a tree and also hand out a surprise gift to the donor.

Amrish Bakaya, director, corporate affairs, Nokia India, tells afaqs!, "For this campaign, we have taken several initiatives such as training our staff to give useful information to customers and equipped them well to handle the inquiries on the subject. Apart from this initiative, we have plans to come out with ecofriendly mobiles as well."

The company has laid out 1,300 recycling bins nationally and it will be working with qualified recyclers around the world to ensure that the recycling process is conducted responsibly and effectively.

The initiative results from a survey that Nokia conducted across 6,500 respondents in 13 countries, including India, which threw up the fact that though people, on an average, have owned around five mobiles per person, very few of these have been recycled.

Only 3 per cent of the respondents said that they had recycled their old mobiles. The majority, 44 per cent, said they simply kept the mobiles at home. Others said they had given their mobiles a new life by passing them on to friends and family or selling them.

Bakaya adds, "We realise that it will be a slow-burn process with the awareness level on e-waste recycling as low as it is in India, but we have started building up on that and are confident that the movement will gain momentum as awareness increases."

A survey revealed that India comes lowest in the category of awareness about e-waste recycling, with a dismal rating of 17 per cent. One useful insight that came out of the survey is the fact that if every Nokia user recycles just one unused mobile, nearly 80,000 tonnes of raw material can be accumulated.