The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Dell International LLC, the multinational technology solutions company, have signed an agreement to cooperate on identifying and implementing a sustainable solution model for e-waste management for developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The memorandum of understanding signed today by LI Yong, Director General of UNIDO, and David Lear, Dell Inc.’s Executive Director of
Sustainability, commits the two organizations to work together for a period of five years, with an option to extend the partnership.
Developing countries are expected to account for the majority of discarded electronics by 2016, and twice that of developed regions by 2030. The aim of this agreement is to create awareness, build capacity, and engage in knowledge sharing and policy advocacy with regard to sustainable e-waste management; to support the creation of an operational and economically viable collection network, and dismantling and recycling facilities, to process e-waste in developing countries in a safe and environmentally sound way; and to support the development of local recycling infrastructure, contributing to the industrial development of these countries and creating sustainable, green economies.
UNIDO’s LI Yong said, “Rudimentary recycling methods and the lack of a policy framework for e-waste management in developing countries pose a high risk to public health and the environment. UNIDO and Dell will cooperate to support developing countries to formulate e-waste related regulations and policies to ensure a long-term success of their activities related to e-waste.” he added, “One major part of an efficient e-waste management system is an effective collection scheme. For this, different aspects need to be taken into account, including financing, infrastructure and logistics. UNIDO and Dell are joining forces to design the most suitable collection strategies in developing countries and implement these in pilot countries.”
Dell’s Lear said, “Enabling recycling infrastructure in developing countries has significant benefits for the environment and local community, and facilitates Dell with the recovery of valuable resources currently being discarded. Together with UNIDO we will work to establish or up-scale facilities to operate environmentally sound management practices that meet international standards for e-waste recycling and further powers the circular economy for IT.”
Lear added, “We are going to continue to support governments in developing effective regulations and policies for e-waste management. Since policy development is a multi-stage process, Dell and UNIDO will support governments in the dialogue and dissemination activities to accompany the various stages of policy development, and this will include organizing and participating in consultation meetings with major stakeholder groups representing industry associations, civil society groups, formal and informal sector collectors, recyclers and representative associations.”
Where inadequate data exists, UNIDO and Dell will carry out the inventory and mapping of e-waste dismantling and recycling technologies and facilities, and will support the development of feasibility studies supporting the design of collection programmes and networks or the up-scaling of recycling centres.
UNIDO has an established e-waste programme that addresses the full lifecycle of ICT equipment by properly dismantling and recycling it once the equipment has become obsolete. The programme aims to foster the development of an environmentally sound e-waste recycling industry in developing countries.
With the active support of 35 National Cleaner Production Centres, UNIDO focuses on promoting an environmental service industry in developing countries; preparing national e-waste assessment reports; establishing partnerships with national and international institutions from the public and private sector; and facilitating the establishment of local and regional e-waste dismantling and recycling facilities.
Dell began integrating sustainability features into its products and processes nearly 30 years ago with designs that were upgradable, serviceable and recyclable because it was good for business, customers, and the environment. Dell is building on this commitment through its recently launched Legacy of Good plan outlining its vision for 2020. As part of this plan, Dell has a goal to eliminate two billion pounds of used electronics by 2020, which will be achieved through Dell’s convenient recycling programmes for homes and businesses in 78 countries. Dell continues to be recognized for its leadership in sustainability and recently received ISRI’s 2014 Design for Recycling Award and UL Environment validation for our closed-loop recycling system.
For more information, visit: dell.com/environment