Recycling is one of the best ways to have a positive impact on the world in which we live. This has become even more relevant in today’s ‘throwaway’ society where electronic gadgets are quickly discarded when newer, more attractive products come to market.
The impact of this behaviour has seen electronic waste, or ‘e-waste’, increase at an astonishing rate, with the Global E-waste Monitor 2020, (a report produced in collaboration with the UN Environment Program, UNEP), disclosing that a record 53.6 million metric tons of electronic waste was generated in 2019 (projected to reach 74.7 Mt by 2030). Raw materials contained in that waste had a value of approximately $57 billion.
Incredible as these figures seem, e-waste is not the only concern. Electronic devices also contain several toxic additives or hasardous substances, usually heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, or lead, and chemicals such as brominated flame retardants which can contaminate soil and water for decades. These substances are also known to have serious impacts on nearly every organ system. Recycling obsolete electronic appliances can limit this pollution, as well as reducing risks posed to health and the environment.
As the leader in payment services and a global manufacturer of electronic products, Ingenico has a key role to play in controlling the environmental impact of the payment chain.
Disposing of end-of-life equipment in the correct manner is clearly essential, but it is also important because these unwanted items contain many valuable and recyclable materials, such as copper, gold, silver, plastic and ferrous metal, that can be used to manufacture new products. Obtaining and recycling materials from e-waste limits the need to mine them from the earth and conserves natural resources, while also saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Our CSR Trust 2025 program was established in 2020, setting out strong ambitions for the manufacturing and recycling of payment terminals in a series of eco-design commitments, which include the collection and recycling of electronic waste. The program forms part of our pledge to a circular economy, helping to reduce pollution and save natural resources. This includes the undertaking to supply our full product range in 100% recycled packaging by 2025.
The efficiency of Ingenico’s recycling strategy positions us strongly at the forefront of environmental innovation in payments
Ingenico has well established solutions in place to responsibly recycle the electronic waste from payment terminals and this strategy is already yielding encouraging results.
We closely monitor the quantities of payment terminals being collected and recycled, which in 2020 reached a total of 422.3 tons, up 12 per cent on the previous year. When comparing 2020 achievements to 2014, the figures are even more impressive, with the recycling of terminals up 150% and the range of recycling programmes now covering 89% of all terminals sold during the last 3 years.
The results of our progress are not just communicated to our customers, but also to Ingenico’s employees so that they too are engaged. For example, in the UK-based repair centre, weekly waste reporting is in place, raising awareness and encouraging sorting and recycling. To promote the value of reuse, a capacity test unit was installed in 2019, which has since given a second life to more than 100,000 batteries, avoiding the production of more than 5 tons of waste.
Complying with regulations
Electronic waste is often subject to local or regional regulatory restrictions. This is the case, for example, in the European Union with Directive 2012/19/EU on Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) which requires manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment to organise and finance the collection, treatment, and disposal of their end-of-life products.
Ingenico provides guidance for its customers and partners, supported by a process for the collection and recycling of their end of life payment terminals that also complies with regulatory requirements to inform users, recyclers, and local authorities. Recycling solutions are currently in place in EU member states, as well as in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, UK, and the United States.
Prioritising the environment is not only a corporate obligation, but each Ingenico employee’s responsibility too
Recycling forms a key component of Ingenico’s environmental programme. Our strategy ecompasses all our activity, from our manufacturing operations, to individual employee reponsibility, and through sustainable procurement, giving our customers the support they need to refurbish and reuse our products.
By being aware of our engagement and role in the landscape of digital technologies, we take into account the environmental impact of our global operations, working to reduce our overall footprint and actively contributing to the fight against climate change and preserving natural resources.
Together with the eco-design of our terminals, our recycling initiatives demonstrate that Ingenico is serious about protecting the environment, and that corporate social responsibility is an important duty we will continue to prioritise as the leader in payments.
We know too that we can always do better, and we will. There is much more progress to come…
Discover how Ingenico has managed to significantly reduce the environmental footprint of its payment terminals through its eco-design approach.