TWM hosts first Circular Economy Forum. Jamie Lin invited 14 strategic partners for joint "Circular Economy Cooperation Declaration".

August 06,2019

TWM promotes environmental sustainability, and has become Taiwan's first enterprise in the telecommunication and service industries to obtain the Science-Based Targets certification by SBTi. A supplier conference was held in July, calling on industrial supply chain to respond to carbon reduction. TWM's next step is to create a "Zero Waste" circular society, and it hosted its first "Circular Economy in ICT Forum" in August 6, inviting experts from the industry, government, and academia to share their experiences. TWM also announced its first "Circular Economy Cooperation Declaration," together with 14 strategic partners, putting forward their key commitments, which include Virgin Raw Material, Extend & More Efficiency, and Cycle, showing TWM's determination in establishing circular economy strategies.


TWM's first "Circular Economy in ICT Forum" invited experts from the industry, government, and academia, including Secretary-General Chen Pei-li of Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Dr. Leon Tzou who is the Supervisor of Circular Economy and Innovative Transformation Association (CEITA) and Director of CTCI Research Center for Environment and Economy, Director and General Manager Niven Huang of KPMG Sustainability Consulting, Chief Sustainability Officer TS Wu of ASUS, and Head of Environment Pia Tanskanen from Nokia, to share with more than 300 suppliers, the innovative meaning and business opportunities of circular economy.


President of TWM, Jamie Lin, kicked off the forum by inviting 14 strategic partners from Nokia Taiwan, Brightstar, OPPO, Vivo, Benten, Ablerex, HTC, ASUS, Wen Guan International, Delta Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Sugar, Yang Da, etc., for a joint issuance of TWM's "Circular Economy Cooperation Declaration" (Attachment 1). Based on Zetta Connected 2030, it takes into consideration the value chain development in operations, products and services, implements Goal 12 (by adopting sustainable consumption and production model) of the United Nations' Sustainable development Goals (SDGs), and announces its three key commitments, namely Virgin Raw Material, Extend & More Efficiency, and Cycle, leading key supply chain partners in increasing resource value and cooperative mechanism, and establishing the key performance goals of sustainable cycle.


Secretary-General Chen Pei-li of Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs began her speech by sharing her thoughts on her visit to a Japanese factory which handles office carpet, in March this year. Secretary-General Chen said carpets get dirty and worn out easily, and the simplest handling method for factories is to throw away or burn them. However, the company communicates with its customers individually, establishing the standards and models of recycling carpet correctly. They treat it with physical and chemical methods to create recycled materials for carpets, and then resell them to carpet manufacturing companies. In its first year of establishment, the company only managed to recycle 200 kg of carpet. But with the help from three major aspects, namely model establishment, companies' participation, and government support, especially the Japanese government's policy of including certain proportion of recycled materials in carpet manufacturing, more than half of the carpets in Japan's Kanto region today are recycled by them, creating resource maximization values. Therefore, the concept of model establishment and involvement by government and private sectors, is quite important. The active advocacy and participation of the companies present today, is a strong encouragement for Taiwan in moving towards a circular economy.


According to Jamie Lin, there is no waste in natural ecosystems as every species possesses an important value that allows another species to rely on for survival, and this is the fundamental spirit of circular economy. Compared to today's era of network industry, "industrial wastes" generated by linear economy in the past are just "misplaced resources." Through the redesign of economic system in production and consumption, waste can become recoverable and renewable resources, thereby creating greater economic values. President Lin also shares the recently released gold, silver, and bronze medals for Tokyo Olympics. The medals' materials are obtained from old electronic products such as mobile phones, tablet PC, etc., collected by Tokyo from the public throughout Japan. The gold, silver, and bronze materials collected by "Urban Mining," as called by Japan, can produce 5,000 medals, which shows that through innovative circular economy method, waste electronic products can be given new lives, new business opportunities can be developed, and waste can turn into gold.


Jamie Lin further shared the results of the current stage of TWM's circular economy, which includes three major methods, namely: managing e-waste recycling and reuse, implementing source management, and cooperating with suppliers in reducing waste and promoting mobile phone recycling. During the process of migrating from 2G to 3G, TWM achieves 100% recycling and reuse through professional recycling companies, reducing about 3,654 tons of e-waste production. It also targets on source management, allowing telecom equipment manufacturers to effectively reuse the resources from the replaced devices, converting waste into treasure. For example in 2017, TWM recycled 20% of irons from the 676.42 tons of optical cable replaced, and 50% of copper from the 145.89 tons of copper cable replaced.


In addition, TWM has since 2015, launched "Old Phone Trade-in" project to promote mobile phone recycling at consumer side. It provides a one-stop service for old phone trade-in for discount, plan selection, and new phone purchase, which effectively recycles old mobile phones, and giving them new values. As at first half of the year, nearly 45,000 subscribers have participated, which shows the concrete practice of Taiwan Mobile in circular economy. In terms of public sector, TWM has for 11th consecutive year, signed "Memorandum of Cooperation in Waste Mobile Communication Product Recycling Program" with the Environmental Protection Administration of the Executive Yuan. As at now, more than 110,000 old mobile phones, 14 tons of accessories, and 6.4 tons of old mobile phone batteries have been recycled and passed on to qualified recycling companies reviewed by the Environmental Protection Administration. By recovering the valuable metals, resources can be reused, and environmental pollution from heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, cobalt, etc. in the waste components can also be reduced. More importantly, we can together reduce the mineral disputes and international conflict which arise due to depleting earth resources.


TWM's "Circular Economy in ICT Forum" invites circular economy experts from the industry, government, and academia, to share and discuss the various countries' methods in circular economy at current stage, and further focus on the trend analysis and practical performance of circular economy in ICT. Dr. Leon Tzou started by presenting an incisive analysis on the industrial policies in circular economy from countries including the European Union, Germany, Japan, China, the Netherlands, etc., and through actual cases, brings out the key issues and push strategies of circular economy from consumer's requirements, enterprise's service supply and environmental resource value increase aspects.


Director and General Manager Niven Huang proposes the "78533 of Circular Economy," which refers to 7 supports, 8 principles, 5 business models, 3 domain innovations, and 3 disruptive technologies which the enterprise invests in circular economy, and conducts an in-depth analysis of well-known ICT product brand, Apple. In recent years, Apple establishes the aggressive goal of manufacturing products using 100% recycled materials. They established closed-loop recycling system for Apple products from supply chain, consumers, and reverse logistics. They then, with green bond funds, make use of the recycled electronic products to build robotic arms known as Liam and Daisy, which can disassemble and recover up to 15 models of iPhone. The recycled rare metals from the disassembly process can be also be used as materials for new products, giving e-waste a brand new life cycle. Director and General Manager Niven Huang also spoke of actual cases of KPN and Fairphone, and shared the opportunities, key message, value measurement, etc. of the development of circular economy in ICT, and appealed to the companies at the forum, to take on the new challenges in the next 10 years to invest in Taiwan's circular enterprise.


Also, Chief Sustainability Officer TS Wu of ASUS, and Head of Environment Pia Tanskanen of Nokia from Finland, shared the visions and methods of ASUS and Nokia in sustainable operations. The forum was conducted in a form of discussion, where experts are invited to discuss on the development of circular economy in ICT, especially on how enterprises should integrate value chain partners and resources, and in response to high-end technological development such as 5G, AI, etc., more effectively drive the development of circular economy in ICT, and together play a part in sustainable development for Taiwan and the earth.


(Attachment 1)


Taiwan Mobile's Circular Economy Cooperation Declaration

(August 6, 2019)


In response to global sustainability trend and with reference to sustainability strategies of international benchmark enterprises, Taiwan Mobile aims to implement Goal 12 (by adopting sustainable consumption and production model) of United Nations' Sustainable development Goals (SDGs) to minimize resources and maximize values, and ensure recyclization of limited resources together with partners in the value chain.


In 2017, we established Zetta Connected 2030 that maps to SDGs. The plan is based on the principles of responsible business, leading supply chain partners in "Creating Stakeholder Synergy" to achieve the three targets, "Elevating Future Experience," "Realizing Social Potential," and "Minimizing Footprint." To fulfill these five visions, we execute 51 of 2030 sustainable goals concurrently, and each goal is executed and reviewed in separate years. 5 of the goals are to implement "sustainable use of natural resources" and "sustainable cycle."


Considering the relationship of value chain with the development of Taiwan Mobile's operations, products, services, etc., we expand the strategies of circular economy based on Zetta Connected 2030, leading key suppliers in responding to "Circular Economy Cooperation Declaration." We commit to:

  1. (Virgin Raw Material)

(1.1) Improve the recyclability and reuse of raw materials or products

(1.2) Develop digital or virtualization products

(1.3) Assess and reduce environmental impact of new products, services, projects, and constructions

  1. (Extend & More Efficiency)

(2.1) Extend the durability of equipment or products

(2.2) Increase the efficiency of equipment or products

  1. (Cycle)

(3.1) Use equipment or products that can be easily disassembled, recycled, and reused

(3.2) Cooperate with suppliers for maintenance of equipment or products, to reduce material preparation or waste generation

(3.3) Recycle and reuse usable scrap, promote sustainable use of renewable resources

(3.4) Reduce emission of pollutants, toxic substances, and waste, as well as conduct proper recycling and waste handling.


Taiwan Mobile and supply chain partners are committed in increasing resource value, and will discuss cooperation mechanisms to establish key performance goals of sustainable cycle.