Telenor: Norwegian sports clubs earn NOK 6 million from environmental initiative

In five months, 500 Norwegian sports clubs have collected 171,904 used mobile phones. Never before have so many mobile phones been returned for recycling in Norway. This community effort secured more than NOK 6 million from Telenor. "We're very impressed that the sports clubs have managed to collect more than 170,000 used mobiles in less than six months. This is good news for local sports clubs and not the least for the environment," says Berit Svendsen, President and CEO of Telenor Norway. Telenor pays the sports clubs NOK 35 for each mobile phone they hand in. Blindheim Sports Club from Ålesund was the most diligent and managed to collect 3,336 used mobiles, thus securing more than NOK 100,000 for the club. Second and third place went to Kolbotn Handball with 2,465 mobiles and Nittedal Sports Club with 2,406 mobiles. These two clubs from Akershus County thus secured NOK 80,000 each in income for the effort, and at the same time contributing to making Akershus the county in Norway that collected the largest number of phones. Almost 30,000 phones were collected in the county, giving the clubs from Akershus NOK 1 million to be shared between them. " This has been a rewarding effort for the sports clubs.Not only because of the substantial earnings for the club, but also because of the clear environmental profile. We've received very positive feedback from the sports clubs," says Børre Rognlien, President of the Norwegian Olympics and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF). Urban mining at its best Erik Solheim, Minister of the Environment and International Development, participated in the launch of the collaboration between Telenor and NIF. Solheim has been active in promoting the importance of increasing the degree of recycling in Norway. "We derive great joy from our mobile phones, but it is important that our old mobiles don't end up collecting dust in a drawer. There is a shortage of metals and minerals in the world and the smartest form of mining we can participate in, is to dig out old electronics from drawers and cupboards. Besides, mobile phones contain hazardous toxins that must be treated in the proper manner when phones become waste," says Solheim. More than 90 percent of old mobile phones can be used in new production. Many used phones can also be put into use again. In Norway around 2 million new phones are bought per year, yet only a fraction of the old ones have been returned for reuse and recycling. New sign-up in January "Surveys we've conducted reveal that Norwegians do want to recycle, but many feel that it is not so accessible. For us it has been a rewarding experience to work with the sports clubs. A barrier has been broken by knocking on doors and facilitating recycling on the spot. We'd like to see this trend continue and will therefore be starting a new round in 2012," says Berit Svendsen of Telenor. Sports clubs can apply to participate in round two of "old phone, new life"" from January 17(th). "When we first opened up for sign up, the 500 spots available were grabbed within 2 hours. With the positive results this year, we're confident interest will be just as great in January," says Rognlien of NIF. The used phones that are collected are either recycled or reused in new markets where access to telecommunication can help create new opportunities. Facts about Telenor's return scheme "old phone, new opportunity": * Seven out of ten Norwegians have one or more old mobile phones lying around at home. * In addition to the sponsorship initiative with the Norwegian Olympics and Paralympic Committee and Confederation for Sports, Telenor has recycle stations in every Telenor dealer in Norway. One can also order return envelopes at telenor.no/gjenbruk. * The used mobile phones are registered and counted before they are sent to Regernesis in the UK, which partners Telenor in the recycling initiative. The company is ISO 14001 certified and operates under strict procedures regarding security and handling of environmental waste. * The agreement with Regernesis concerns all Telenor companies. Currently, Telenor has mobile recycling schemes in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Malaysia and Thailand. Contact: Petter Svendsen, head of sponsorships at Telenor Norway, Tel.: 900 55 402, e- mail:petter.svendsen@telenor.com Morten Schønfeldt, Marketing Director at the Norwegian Olympics and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sport (NIF), Tel.: 922 00 878, e- mail:morten.schonfeldt@idrettsforbundet.no This announcement is distributed by Thomson Reuters on behalf of Thomson Reuters clients. The owner of this announcement warrants that: (i) the releases contained herein are protected by copyright and other applicable laws; and (ii) they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein. Source: Telenor via Thomson Reuters ONE [HUG#1564409]