Recycling modems strengthens value chain

6 Jul 2015
SOURCE:
Vodafone and Downer

A group of telecommunication companies are exploring how to reduce waste by recovering old modems. Employees from Vodafone and Downer initiated an industry-wide trial for recycling modems after identifying the opportunity during a Sustainable Business Council Waste Group meeting.

Both companies are already leaders in this area and have a strong interest in product stewardship and managing waste across their value chains. Downer and Vodafone are working with the wider members of the Telecommunications Forum to run a pilot programme which will see unwanted modems collected by Downer staff at the same time that new fibre cables are being installed.

Downer and Vodafone have been working together to identify the best way to talk to householders about the benefits of recycling their unwanted modems. Both Downer's operational staff and householders need to be able to understand the benefits. For Downer it has also meant mapping out the workflows of drivers as they roll out the new fibre cables to make the conversation they have with householders as efficient and meaningful as possible.

At the same time that staff are talking about unwanted modems they are also tasked with providing information to householders on options for reusing and recycling other sources of telecommunications equipment, and finding out what the barriers are to people recycling old modems.

While collecting and recycling unwanted modems isn't demanded by customers, both Downer and Vodafone see it as an opportunity to improve how they manage their value chains. For Downer it is also an opportunity to maximise what it can get out of each and every conversation staff have with householders.