Stakeholders in recycling and re-use
A Vodafone case study

Page 3: Recycling agents and the supply chain

Suppliers are also external stakeholders. As part of a business' supply chain, it is important that suppliers maintain a close relationship with a company to ensure that they support its principles. The supply chain consists of all the stages involved in transporting a product to the final consumer.

Life cycle

Today, we need to take a more comprehensive view of the supply chain. We need to look at the total life cycle of a product or service in the supply chain, including end-of-life. Vodafone's supply chain includes customers as part of its recycling loop, as well as recycling service providers. It is important for customers to realise that many mobile phones can have a longer life and further use if they are refurbished.


Cool Fact: Between 65% and 80% of the material content of a mobile can be recycled and re-used. Even some of the non-recyclable plastics can be used in other ways, bringing the total up to about 90%.

This new view of the supply chain involves a much longer life cycle for the product. Customers bring back their old handsets to Vodafone stores or send them to FREEPOST Recycling Vodafone. Vodafone sends the handsets to Fonebak, international leaders in handset refurbishment and recycling. All handsets and accessories are reused or recycled: none are sent to landfill. For each handset returned, Vodafone gives an average of £8 to Global Cool Foundation UK. Handsets in good condition are refurbished for re-sale in lower-income countries. Refurbished handsets cost less than new phones. This makes them more affordable for people in parts of Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe where telephone landlines are less accessible. In Romania, for example, a new phone costs about 75% of an average monthly income. That would be equal to about £1,200 in the UK. Most phones are re-used rather than recycled.

Vodafone | Stakeholders in recycling and re-use

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