Milica Begenišić, ESG Manager, Yettel

Simple Solutions Motivate Engagement

Ecology is becoming increasingly important for large companies. As a relatively new brand, Yettel has already distinguished itself in Serbia for its contribution to environmental protection and customer engagement

The first 100% green network in Serbia is determined to tackle various environmental issues, especially when the company receives positive feedback from customers. That’s why Yettel has to date recycled over 560,000 devices, 234 tons of plastic and 112 tons of paper.

For Yettel, environmental protection isn’t a mere legal obligation or fad, but an integral part of every sphere of your business. Are you looking to use your influence to drive positive change?

– Absolutely. For us, environmental and social responsibility are part of our DNA. It is how we think and work across all aspects of our business. Last year, we became the first 100% green network, as we now use only electricity from renewable sources for our base stations. In addition, green energy also powers 31 Yettel stores.

It was over ten years ago that we replaced plastic bags with paper in shops. In 2022, we abolished the use of plastic cups in the HQ and regional centres, resulting in our employees contributing to reducing the amount of plastic waste by about 22,000 plastic cups.

Large companies have the power to initiate positive changes, and we, as a leading mobile operator, have taken that role seriously.

Yettel always aims to include customers and partners in its environmental efforts. How do people respond to them, especially the device recycling programme?

– I must say that their reaction exceeded our expectations! With our customers, we’ve recycled over 560 thousand devices over the past two years. Approximately 13 kg of gold, 8 tons of copper, 184 kg of silver, and 7 kg of palladium have been collected and returned to use.

Yettel received the “social responsibility leader” acknowledgment for our work on improving society and the environment through our business activities

The great response from our customers demonstrates that people are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious and eager to participate in preserving the environment when provided with a simple solution. With their help, we are confident that our goal of recycling a million devices by 2025 is pretty achievable.

In addition to e-waste, plastic and paper waste also pose a major problem. How can a telecommunications company tackle that challenge?

– If there is a will, there is a way, and we definitely have a strong will to tackle different environmental issues, especially when we see the positive feedback from customers. A year ago, we launched the Eco Bonus digital service, to tackle the problem of plastic and paper, on top of everything else we do as a company. By activating Eco Bonus, the customer chooses to have 4.6 kg of plastic and 2.2 kg of paper/cardboard waste recycled on their behalf, which is the amount of waste generated monthly by the average resident of Serbia. This amount of waste isn’t typically included in Serbia’s quotas or those of national recyclers – we insisted that Eco Bonus bring additional amounts, which are to be recycled in Serbia, so it really makes a difference. Over 234 tons of plastic and 112 tons of paper have so far been recycled.

In addition to the fantastic responses of our customers, I am very proud to say that our sustainability efforts were also recognised in the business society. At the recent Digital Awards 2023 conference, Yettel received the “Social Responsibility Leader” acknowledgment for our work on improving society and the environment through our business activities.

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