Friday, July 14, 2023

PLDT, Smart pilot ‘Be Kind. Recycle.’ to champion circularity

PLDT and its wireless unit Smart advance sustainability culture in the workplace by empowering employees to recycle. During the celebration of its Environmental, Health, and Safety Week, the PLDT Group launched the enhanced recycling and waste management program for employees called ‘Be Kind. Recycle.’ in support of a circular economy.  

As part of the program, a weeklong electronic waste (e-waste) collection drive in the PLDT and Smart headquarters allowed employees to donate old electronic devices and appliances like mobile phones, landline phones, routers, laptops, chargers, and others. During the event, employees turned over more than 5,500 units of household e-waste. 

“As much as waste is bad for the planet and the environment, it is also harmful to us humans as it poses serious risks to our health and safety, if not handled and treated properly. We are piloting the ‘Be Kind. Recycle.’ program targeting e-waste to help develop the practice of recycling as an act of kindness for us and for the planet,” said Melissa Vergel de Dios, Chief Sustainability Officer at PLDT and Smart.

The PLDT Group, including PLDT, Smart, e-PLDT, and PLDT Global, is doubling down on its efforts to manage e-waste. The 2022 United Nations’ Global E-Waste Monitor Report cited the Philippines as among the top e-waste generators in Southeast Asia. Improper e-waste disposal impacts people’s health and damages the environment. 


In addition to the e-waste collection, the PLDT Group also held an organizational learning session with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) about e-waste and their hazards to communities. UNIDO also shared tips with employees on how to properly handle and recycle e-waste materials. 


The Group has also tapped integrated waste management solutions provider Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies (BEST) to encourage employees to properly segregate household trash. Recyclables can be traded for environmental points (EP) under the BEST’s trash-to-cashback program which may be used to redeem grocery essentials, pay utility bills, swap for gift cards, and other products and services. 


Aside from the e-waste initiative, PLDT/Smart co-chairs Planet Pillar of the United Nations local chapter Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP) which focuses on plastic waste. The efforts on responsible waste management support PLDT and Smart's commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. 

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