ENVIRONMENT

BUSINESS: 158 PRACTICES


TOPIC:

Initiative

Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program

Management of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program
SUBMITTED FROM:

Eurobank Ergasias S.A.

Eurobank is one of the four pillars of the Greek banking system. Moreover, Eurobank group is present in Bulgaria, Serbia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and London.

 

Read more: www.eurobank.gr


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Objective Action

The action is aiming at preserving, protecting and improving environmental quality, protecting health and safety and at sensible and rational use of resources.

 

Target Audience

The action is addressed to the Eurobank employees, its customers at the branches as well as the wider community.

 

Duration

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling Program is part of Eurobank's certified Environmental Management System from 2004 to today.


Description

Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the European Union and only 1/3 of the WEEE is recycled through approved systems. Unsafe WEEE treatment poses a risk to human health and the environment due to their content in hazardous substances and heavy metals (e.g. lead and mercury). WEEE has been identified for the financial institutions as the most important direct hazardous waste stream and therefore it requires safe management to avoid environmental degradation.

In Eurobank, environmental protection and minimizing our environmental footprint are key objectives, which are implemented through the application of the strict environmental standards of our Environmental Policy.

We recognize the direct impacts of our operations and we are committed to minimize waste generation and to monitor waste streams. 

In this context, Eurobank implements the Recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Program based on the approach:

  • Reduction of waste production – Equipment maintenance
  • Reuse and Donations
  • Recycling

The WEEE that may arise from Eurobank banking operations are personal computers, telecommunications equipment, lighting fixtures and lamps, batteries and accumulators, large and small household appliances as well as ATM machine. With a scope to increase the lifecycle of the equipment, the non-functional Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) is centrally collected for sorting. The equipment that can be repaired is prepared for reuse, and in the case it does not meet the Bank’s specifications, is donated to other institutions and organizations. The non-repairable EEE is characterized as WEEE and is entirety recycled following optimum environmental standards by an authorized organization of the Hellenic Recycling Agency. Furthermore, equipment batteries and accumulators along with lamps are also 100% recycled by authorized recycling companies. Furthermore, battery recycling bins are located at a number of collection points at the Bank and lamp collection points at the administration buildings, which allow employees to recycle at their workplace.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Recycling Program supports the European Union's Action Plan for the Circular Economy, according to which products and materials should remain in the economy for as long as possible and at the same time minimize waste generation. Eurobank recognizes that its essential to minimize waste production and is a key component of its Environmental Management System. It should be noted that Eurobank is the first Bank in Greece with ISO 14001 environmental management certification (since 2004) and one of the few in Europe, while at the same time it is the first Greek Bank (since 2009) registered with the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS). The annual goal of Eurobank's Environmental Management System for waste minimization is the 100% recycling of WEEE.

The Program contributes to the achievement of the UN's 17 World Sustainable Development Goals by minimizing health and environmental impacts.


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Impact on Society

Supporting society through solidarity is a key pillar of Eurobank's corporate responsibility. In the context of the reuse of the operational Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE), a part of it is donated to other institutions and organizations such as schools. The total amount of donations since 2004 is over 12,000 items.

Furthermore, through the AFIS battery collection bins, over 4 billion tonnes of portable batteries have been recycled by Eurobank's employees and customers.

The long-term success of the Program lies also in the increased awareness of Eurobank's employees on reuse and recycling issues.



Initiative Location

The Program covers all of Eurobank's premises.


Working with Organization

The recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) takes place in cooperation with Appliances Recycling S.A. (approved organization of the Hellenic Recycling Agency), the lamps recycling with Fotokiklosi S.A., the accumulators recycling with SY.DE.SYS. and the portable batteries with AFIS S.A.


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Workers Participation

All employees of Eurobank participate in the action


Photos

Benefits for Οrganization

During 2016, the total of non-operational EEE was recycled and the annual Environmental Management System goal was achieved for one more year. In 2016, the amount of WEEE that was managed safely by Eurobank was 5,122 units, corresponding to 92,890 kg of equipment, and the total WEEE recycled since the beginning of the program to date is over 69,000 pieces (711 tons of equipment) . Also, to date, Eurobank has recycled over 84,000 lighting bulbs and 42,000 batteries.

More information is available at the Corporate Responsibility Report and the annual Environmental Report.




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