Etisalat Embarks on Effort to Rid Region of E-Waste

Regional Agreement Brings Expert Knowledge and Resources to Emerging Markets

Etisalat today made a commitment to protect the natural environment of Africa, Asia and the Middle East from the harm caused by electronic waste. The Middle East’s largest and leading operator has signed an agreement with specialist e-waste company, Enviroserve, to roll out new initiatives that will empower customers to safely dispose of old mobile phones and other electronic items across its 18 markets. This will help prevent toxic materials from polluting water supplies and landfills, and protect the inheritance of billions of people in the region.

The agreement was signed in Etisalat’s head quarters in Abu Dhabi by Etisalat’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar and the CEO of Enviroserve Stuart Fleming in the presence of Ahmed bin Ali Etisalat Group Senior Vice President Corporate Communications and Enviroserve’s General Manager Ghalleb Al Azem.

Ahmad Abdulkarim Julfar, Group Chief Operating Officer at Etisalat said: “Etisalat is playing an important role in reducing our customers’ impact on the environment through many different technology innovations and initiatives. This agreement is an extension of our existing green vision and helps our customers actively participate in the protection of their natural environment. Electronic waste is difficult to remove and dispose of safely, and through this agreement we are providing valuable knowledge and best practice to markets which need it most. We are delighted to take the lead on this key issue.”

Etisalat has been working with Enviroserve on its ‘Envirofone’ campaign since 2007 in the UAE and has since collected 450 tons of electronic waste which has all been safely disposed of in specialist factories. This programme is widely regarded as a success and has been cited in numerous environmental and CSR conferences. The ‘Envirofone’ initiative and the expertise that goes with it will now be exported to each of Etisalat’s subsidiary markets.

Stuart Fleming, CEO of Enviroserve said: “This agreement creates the opportunity to do a lot of good for a lot of people. Emerging markets generally have large populations and limited waste disposal facilities. Working with a leading multinational operator like Etisalat which has a footprint in 18 countries, we will provide a valuable and much-needed solution that will help protect the natural environment for generations to come. We are delighted that Etisalat has taken the effort to champion this cause across its footprint. Electronic waste is globally the largest growing waste category, increasing annually by 30%. Its hazardous nature is harmful not only to environment, but our health. Any solutions should be welcomed to encourage the responsible recycling of the multitude of products listed generally as electronic scrap.”

In 2009, Enviroserve introduced a new Internet-based service which allows people to recycle and trade their old but still functional phones for money. Through Enviroserve and Etisalat, it will soon be possible to easily recycle your mobile as each of the Etisalat Group companies will have the opportunity to partner with Enviroserve in their markets either on the web based portal or through collection centres to remove electronic waste from landfills.

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