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TELUS Social Impact
TELUS Social Impact
A cell phone with an image of a recycling symbol

Environment

Let’s make our carbon footprint smaller

Sep 29, 2022

Do you have a few old smartphones and tablets laying around the house? Maybe you wanted to repair, repurpose or recycle them, but just didn’t know where to start. TELUS can help.

Are you like the majority of Canadians and still have a few older pieces of technology hanging around? An average of 40% of pre-loved devices are reportedly sitting in drawers collecting dust. Most consumers aren’t aware that instead of collecting dust, this technology could be doing a world of good.

We’re making smarter and more environmentally-friendly choices for our customers to help create a sustainable tech cycle of devices - also known as a ‘circular economy’. By repairing, repurposing and recycling technology, and offsetting our emissions to regenerate nature, we’re helping build a more sustainable future.

You’ve probably heard of the 3 R’s of recycling - Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. We’re taking it a step further with our approach to building a friendly future for our pre-loved devices with TELUS’ 4 R’s of a Sustainable Tech Cycle: REPAIR, REPURPOSE, RECYCLE and REGENERATE.

REPAIR: Prolonging the lifespan of your device

As part of TELUS’ ongoing efforts to apply circular economy principles across our organization, we’ve developed programs and systems that minimize waste generation, reuse materials, and maximize the diversion of waste to landfill. By bringing in your smartphone for repair before replacement, you can extend the life of your phone. Looking for a new device? We can help you to repurpose your pre-loved phone.

REPURPOSE: Giving new life to our pre-loved devices.

Did you know that there might still be value in those older devices you have laying around? Trading them in could mean saving big on the latest tech, while knowing that you’re supporting the sustainable tech cycle. Bring in your pre-loved device back to TELUS through programs like Bring-it-Back or Trade-In, or into Mobile Klinik where the team refurbishes more than 300 pre-loved devices each day. These devices support our Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) device program whereby choosing a CPO device produces 86% less carbon emissions per year compared to a new device. We’re also donating these devices through our Mobility for Good program to help connect Canadians in need.

RECYCLE: Helping to protect our environment and scarce resources.  

Have a few really older models laying around? Like the kind that came with the game Snake installed? There are still ways to support a sustainable tech cycle for older technology. For models where repurpose or repair aren’t options, TELUS will responsibly recycle them at any TELUS location or our partners at Mobile Klinik.  It’s vital to keep old technology out of landfills, as they contain toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. These materials are hazardous to the environment as they break down in the air, soil and groundwater. Since 2005, TELUS has recycled 3.5 million devices and counting. That means the responsible recycling of all of those toxic substances, plus the recovery and repurposing of scarce natural and precious resources like gold, silver and copper. 

Strong digital policy is missing from Canada’s climate strategy, and presents an opportunity to lead on global climate action.

REGENERATE: Supporting nature through offsetting emissions.

It’s not just about how we look at our older technology. At TELUS, we’re looking at the big picture and helping reduce our collective carbon footprint by investing in a friendlier and more sustainable future. What does that look like? 

  • We’re funding nature-based solutions, innovative technologies and sustainable business practices to change the ways we work every day. 

  • We’ve committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2025, having net carbon neutral operations by 2030 or sooner, and being zero waste by 2030. 

  • And we’re on a mission to plant our one millionth tree. That’s the equivalent of 20,000 acres of forest, and almost as large as Jasper National Park (at 26.8K acres). 

This October, we’re proud to partner with Circular Innovation Council (CIC) to launch Canada’s first Circular Economy Month. As Jo-Anne St Godard, Executive Director at CIC says, “... cell phones are a perfect candidate to help Canadians engage in circular practices by purchasing devices that are produced with minimal natural resources, designed for durability, repaired, refurbished, and easy to recycle. By joining as a founding partner, TELUS is demonstrating its commitment to doing its part of facilitating and promoting Canada’s transition to a circular economy.” Join the conversation this October, and beyond, using #CircularEconomyMonth. 

Together, let’s make our carbon footprint smaller.  Let’s make the future friendly.

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