The green shoots of technology

Date of publication: September 26, 2008

Company: Illuminas

Author: Joe Brown

Abstract:

Recycling may have become the buzz word for liberal thinking western consumers. But is this case in less developed markets? What weight do consumers in countries such as Nigeria or Indonesia give to recycling in comparison to the other demands that fall upon them on a day-to-day basis? What of the humble mobile phone? Surely this can't be a drain on the earth's resources? Or can it? Each year well over a billion mobile phones are produced, along with millions of tons of packaging, paper and cardboard and peripherals such as headsets, chargers and cables. And how much of this is recycled? Can consumers bear to part with their old handsets or even their instruction manuals? How many millions of handsets are sitting in drawers around the world representing valuable resources than could be reused, recycled or donated to charities? In this paper we explore the link between attitudes and behaviour towards environmental issues amongst consumers in 13 developed and developing countries. We will look to understand the degree to which consumers recycle everyday goods, such as paper, glass and plastics, and where mobile phones stand in relation to other consumables. But most importantly we look at how Nokia the world's leading provider of mobile phones is minimising its impact on the environment and how it is engaging with consumers to make their products increasingly environmentally responsible and to raise awareness of how mobile phones can be recycled.

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