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E-Waste Management

Minimizing waste is key to a circular economy, and we know that high reuse and recycling rates start with smart product design. We also know that upcoming material efficiency standards include detailed requirements on design for recyclability, reuse and recovery – all areas that we are working with actively.

Our life-cycle approach

At Ericsson we use a life-cycle approach to product design to ensure that we address environmental aspects including responsible materials selection and effective resource use, as well as efficient reuse and recycling. While our products are in operation we offer our customers a portfolio of services to support them, including capacity upgrades that will improve the energy performance of products in operations, repair services to prolong life, and help to minimize environmental impact. At the end of product life, we offer our customers a complete take-back service that includes secure data destruction.

From waste to resource

E-waste – discarded electrical or electronic equipment – is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world in terms of volume. According to the report ’Global E-waste ­Monitor 2017’ from ITU/UNU, the amount of e-waste reached 44.7 million tonnes in 2016 and it is estimated to continue growing to reach 52.2 million tonnes in 2021. This development represents an unfortunate waste of resources, because electronic products contain many different materials that can be recycled and reused as new raw materials if treated properly at end of life. As a manufacturer of electrical and electronic hardware that is committed to implementing a circular economy approach in our business, we are working actively to address this troubling e-waste trend.

Product Take-Back Program

In 2005 we launched our global Product Take-Back Program to minimize the environmental impact of our products at their end of life and ensure that they are handled according to high environmental standards. Since then, we offer the program to our customers in 180 countries around the world. All of our selected recyclers are, at a minimum, third-party audited in accordance with ISO standards such as ISO 14001 and OHSA 18001, but also in accordance with specific recycling standards such as the Responsible Recycling (R2) scheme. The recyclers are part of our regular Code of Conduct and Responsible Sourcing program and we follow their performance regularly using a risk-based approach.

More facts and figures on our latest Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility report