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Environmental protection activitiesImplementing Closed Loop Recycling

[Example] 3R of resources

Reuse and recycling of telecommunications equipment

Telecommunications equipment, such as telephone poles, switching equipment, communication cables, public phone booths, and public telephones, are decommissioned when they reach the end of their service life or are replaced during system upgrades for new services and so forth. We promote the reuse and recycling of decommissioned telecommunications equipment as exemplified below:

  • Recycling of concrete waste generated from concrete poles as roadbed material
  • Detailed separation of public phone booths into aluminum, stainless steel, glass, plastic, and so on, and public telephones into baseboards, copper wire, various plastics, and others, followed by recycling as raw materials at recycling plants

The material of public phone booths and public telephones are carefully and thoroughly sorted mainly by hand at specific intermediate treatment plants. Thus, this accuracy of the sorting greatly affects the recycling rate.

Recycling of mobile phones

Containing gold, silver, copper, palladium and other metals, mobile phones could be regarded as a valuable recycling resource in Japan with its paucity of mineral resources. NTT DOCOMO has accordingly collected used mobile phones from customers since 1998 at its approximately 2,400 docomo shops throughout Japan, and through various events.

In fiscal 2017, we collected about 5.2 million mobile phones*, bringing the cumulative total to about 100.8 million phones. The collection system has also spread among corporate customers, with around 400 companies cooperating in fiscal 2017.

NTT DOCOMO is involved with the Tokyo 2020 Medal Project: Towards an Innovative Future for All. This project conducted by the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games represents the first of its kind in the world as it seeks to create around 5,000 gold, silver and bronze medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic from recycled metal collected from used mobile phones and other consumer electronics.

We will seek to achieve greater efficiency in our recycling system and promote the collection of used mobile phones from customers.

* The number of units collected for reuse is included after fiscal 2016.

Water management and recycling

Due to the nature of its business, the NTT Group consumes little water. The total amount of water used by the NTT Group is only about 0.05% of the amount of water consumed in Japan, even if tap water accounted for all of the water consumed by NTT Group.

Also, our water use is spread out across the country, and so we believe our water intake does not have any significant impact on water sources.

The NTT Group reduces its consumption of tap water by using recycled wastewater and rainwater, which accounted for 4.2% of our total water use in fiscal 2017. We estimate that our total water discharge was 5.54 million m3.

Research centers where we use chemical substances in our research activities implement individual measures against leakages of chemical substances into wastewater. The Atsugi R&D Center discharged wastewater totaling 78 thousand m3 into the Sagami River area and Sagami Bay in fiscal 2017. We monitor the quality of domestic and industrial wastewater and have confirmed that the quality of wastewater is within our voluntary standards, which is half of the legal regulation value or less.

At the Musashino R&D Center, in an effort to promote both the use of recycled water and the reuse of water, both rainwater and blow-down water from our cooling tower are filtered and sterilized and then used on each floor for flushing toilets. As a result, tap water use in the center has been reduced to about 35% of the total volume of water used, calculated by dividing 26 thousand m3 of tap water by 73 thousand m3 of discharged wastewater.

Paper management and recycling

Paper consumption of the NTT Group was 43 thousand tons. As for telephone directories, which account for more than 70% of our paper consumption, we established a closed loop recycling system in 1999 to collect old directories and recycle them to produce new ones.

We undertake numerical management for our use of virgin pulp. Also, we are working to reduce paper consumption in society by utilizing ICT such as Internet billing services*.

* Services enabling customers to check their charges and usage at any time online.

Closed Loop recycling of telephone directories

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