Bridging
the digital divide

ENGIE, Accenture and Ordina donate their mobile phones through Close the Gap pilot project

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15 October 2018 – Close the Gap set up a mobile phone collection project in association with WorldLoop and through a partnership with Raising Results, a digital marketing and strategic fundraising company. This pilot project engages employees of Ordina, Accenture and ENGIE to donate their old phones to support innovation projects and to handle the growing e-waste problematic in a sustainable and responsible way.

The initiative of the mobile phone collection project was born out of the importance to evolve towards a more sustainable and circular economy. As private mobile phones contribute to a large share of today’s e-waste (up to 8 million unused mobile phones can be found in Belgian and Dutch households), action needs to be taken. Due to the large potential of these old phones, the pilot project aims to collect employees’ phones through an awareness and collection campaign.

In the first stage, three companies will motivate their employees to donate their old mobile phones. Accenture, ENGIE and Ordina will kick-off this internal campaign on October 15th, closely following International E-Waste Day on October 13th. The first phase of the project is focused on interactive communication and raising awareness. Employees will have access to an online platform and a quiz where they can test their knowledge about their own old devices. Everyone will then have two weeks to donate their phones in the collection boxes provided by Recupel, a Belgian non-profit association that is responsible for organising the collection and processing of discarded electr(on)ic appliances and light bulbs.

After the collection period, the donated phones will be processed. The critical raw materials, the valuables such as gold, cobalt and aluminium, will be recycled in a sustainable way by Umicore. During the European Week for Waste Reduction (from November 17th until November 25th), the results will be communicated to the employees. All revenue from the collected phones will be used to support innovative entrepreneurship by donating the funds raised to a tech start-up selected by Close the Gap.

With a full feedback loop, the results will be communicated in detail to all participating companies and their employees. “This way, participants will see firsthand that their non-used phones contain much more potential than they would probably have imagined,” says Didier Appels, Director Strategic Partnerships at Close the Gap. Moreover, employees will personally experience that their and their company’s efforts can lead to valuable investments in circular initiatives.

 

Interested to learn about the results of the pilot or interested to implement the same action in your own company?  Contact Didier Appels via didier.appels@close-the-gap.org

 

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