Mobile devices from ForFarmers are now waste-free

18 March 2021

All mobile phones, tablets and laptops in use at ForFarmers will be 'waste-free' from now on. ForFarmers has entered into a partnership with Closing the Loop, an organisation that coordinates the collection and recycling of end-of-life phones in developing countries. In this way, we are also contributing to the objectives of our sustainability strategy Going Circular in the IT field.

We're closing the loop - also in IT

Afbeelding: Closing the Loop phone

Written-off IT hardware from ForFarmers has been going to ITdonations for years. This organisation clears all the data and sells the devices, giving them a second life, usually in a developing country. The proceeds are donated to charity. "In this way, we have donated a large number of devices over the years, helping many people", says IT Director Chris Wigglesworth. "However, we want to step it up. We now realise what happens to the devices in developing countries and what impact our generous donations actually have on the environment in those countries. With Closing the Loop we are now taking the next step: we will continue to donate our old appliances to charities, but we are now closing the loop."

Re-use and recycling

About 70% of the phones we use in Europe eventually end up in Africa for a third, fourth, and even fifth life. A great way of reuse, until the phone doesn’t work anymore and becomes scrap. Unfortunately, there are very few proper facilities in developing countries to deal with this ‘e-waste’, and that means the device often ends up in landfill and becomes a threat to the environment. And yet these end-of-life phones also offer a great opportunity, because phones contain valuable metals that can be reused after recycling. That’s why Closing the Loop was founded.

This is how it works

The idea behind Closing the Loop is simple: For every phone that ForFarmers buys for its employees, Closing the Loop collects a broken phone in an African country for proper recycling. One for One. And for each tablet and laptop three and nine phones respectively are collected. In that way, we tackle the increasing issue of electronic waste in Africa. Also, Closing the Loop takes care that the valuable metals in these devices, like gold, silver and copper can be reused. As a result, all phones, tablets and laptops at ForFarmers will be waste-free from now on. And that applies not only to new devices, but also to those currently in use.

Afbeelding: infographic_2021_ff_01