KPN sets target for ‘circular economy’ by 2025

Alan Burkitt-Gray
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Huawei to assist KPN on project to recycle close to 100% of parts within eight years

Netherlands operator KPN has started a project to ensure almost all its network and consumer hardware is recycled.

The company is working with Huawei on a target of 2025, by when it wants all new network and consumer hardware to be designed to last longer, to be produced using less virgin raw material and to be built in such a way that close to 100% of the parts and resources can be reused or recycled.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges in our society and it’s time for action, not words,” said Eelco Blok, CEO of KPN.

The company describes this as a “circular economy target”, that supports and exceeds the country’s own objective of transitioning towards a circular economy by 2050.

“We recognize that we have a leading role to enable the necessary transition towards a sustainable and increasingly digital economy,” said Blok. “That’s why we’re implementing our own circular target with a demanding timeline.”

KPN says it has been climate-neutral since 2015 and has lowered its annual energy consumption for six consecutive years through to 2016 while absorbing an eight-fold increase in data volume during that same time.

Steven Cai, CEO of Huawei Netherlands, said: “Together with KPN, we’ll take joint responsibility to proactively drive an energy-saving, environmentally friendly, and low-carbon society.”

Blok added: “We’re very pleased that such important partners have accepted this challenge and share our determination. After all, it’s only by working together that we can realise the innovation necessary to become circular. Their support is therefore key and the knowledge we develop together can also benefit other stakeholders who seek to reduce their own environmental impact.”