Orange & Nokia enhance “circularity” to combat climate change

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Global telecoms giants Orange and Nokia have agreed a dual commitment to reduce carbon emissions by making greater use of refurbished equipment in their network infrastructure.

As part of what the duo describe as a “groundbreaking agreement”, refurbished network equipment will be offered by Nokia to all Orange subsidiaries via BuyIn, the procurement alliance of Orange and Deutsche Telekom.

Announcing the agreement on Twitter, Nokia president Pekka Lundmark said “re-use of resources is central to the fight against climate change and we’re proud to partner with Orange to improve circularity in the telecoms industry”.

On the Orange side, this agreement is part of a larger programme called OSCAR which will contribute to the achievement of the Net Zero Carbon objective in 2040 set by the group.

Initially the joint commitment will focus on greater use of refurbished components of RAN (Radio Access Network) equipment, and the duo claimed this will expand into re-use of other network equipment in the “medium to long term”. The deal covers RAN equipment across technology generations including 3G, 4G and 5G, according to Orange.

Orange plans to prioritise reusing equipment dismantled from its own networks, but when the needed RAN equipment isn’t available from within the Orange Group, Nokia will supply the operator with functional but unneeded equipment. If there’s no interest then Nokia has the option for buy-back or it will be resold to external partners, according to the operator.

Ramon Fernandez, delegate CEO of Orange, said: “We are proud to share our common vision of the circular economy with Nokia, a vision where environmental exemplarity supports sustainable value creation. This mutual understanding leads today to this first major contractual step forward for the Orange Group and its subsidiaries, with a positive environmental impact for our two groups.”

Nokia has also set targets to cut emissions by 50 per cent between 2019 and 2030 as part of recently set “science-based targets”.

Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia, said: “Committing to circularity takes us another step closer to achieving our own climate goals, as well as supporting our customers in achieving theirs.

“Digitalization [sic] reduces waste, reuse extends product life, and through this we are able to realize the full value of our products. This framework agreement demonstrates the importance of collaboration in resolving the big challenges society faces and we all need to act together.”

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