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Corporate sustainability is the trump card. This also applies to the telecommunications industry. Nevertheless, the industry is lagging behind compared to others. In addition to enormous emissions, this concerns above all the volume of waste.

One possible solution we have looked at in our white paper “How a circular economy can help enable ‘green telco’” (in English) is the circular economy: a concept that seeks to preserve the value of products, materials and resources for as long as possible by maximising their lifespan and thus reducing waste.

New technologies help the telecommunications industry with implementation

New technologies can play a major role in this: Digital distribution channels, for example, have already been able to significantly reduce paper waste. The Internet of Things (IoT) also allows data to be analysed in real time via various devices, for example, to provide information about the maintenance status. Blockchain technology, in turn, helps to store or transmit machine data securely. All of this helps to extend the life of the machines.

In some cases, there is a lack of knowledge about the opportunities and possibilities

Nevertheless, the circular economy can only be implemented if various challenges are overcome. The initial investment costs can be significant in some cases. Success also depends on the participation of the companies along the value chains as well as the customers. Last but not least, telecommunications companies often lack knowledge about the topic.

Form partnerships, set big goals and market them

We have identified four measures that will help companies in the telecommunications industry not only become more sustainable through circular economy, but also benefit in other areas.

  1. Integrate circular economy into all areas of your business model. Invest in the repair and reuse of products as well as in opportunities to rent or share them. This saves costs and increases efficiency.
  2. Rely on partnerships that support circular economy along the value chain. This includes business partners, supplier companies, investors, customers and NGOs.
  3. Define high goals to reduce waste and emissions, recycle and reuse products. Formulate specific milestones for this and review them.
  4. Communicate and market your efforts to generate more acceptance and attention to the topic of circular economy and to enhance your reputation.