Making recycling the telecoms norm


To Shields recycling isn’t just the process of converting waste into reusable material; it’s also about playing our part in creating a reuse-focused society by making the circular economy a norm within the telecoms industry. Read on to find out how we provide a reliable and sustainable supply chain below.


We all understand that in a perfect world, a circular economy where we reduce consumption and equipment is continually re-used would be the best for the planet and Green House Gas emissions. However, this is not always possible and we must recognise that advances in technology, increases in population and the strive for global digital connectivity will inevitably lead to waste and therefore recycling. Recycling is a key factor in a secondary circular economy where waste can be transformed back into raw materials and into new products, helping to save the Green House Gas intense methods of mining for new resources.

At Shields our primary process and focus is on the re-use of equipment. We work closely with our customers to ensure we know their needs for the re-use of equipment within their own company and group of companies helping to save millions of tons of CO2e emissions by avoiding the need for new equipment to be manufactured. Our top of class testing facilities ensure that only the highest quality of equipment leaves our facilities with over a 99.5% pass rate. And our dedicated sales team search for global opportunities for the re-use of equipment in developed and developing networks.

One of the key risks in recycling is visibility. That is the visibility of where equipment is sent for recycling and may end up being transferred to many further recyclers and processors. How can we be sure that equipment is being treated correctly? That it’s being recycled to get the best recycling and recovery rates? Shields have always been working closely with our recyclers to ensure we have the best visibility throughout the whole downstream recycling chain to provide us, and our customers, clarity and comfort that equipment is treated legally and to the best available methods. We hold contracts with our key recycling partners which allows for the sharing of information so we can be happy in the knowledge we know the routes of all equipment. Shields Environmental LTD and Altech have worked together closely for more than 30 years. During that time, we have emerged together at the forefront of electronics recycling in the UK. The ongoing partnership between the two companies has only strengthened and pushed us both to improve recycling and recovery rates, develop new and energy-efficient ways of recycling which leads to great benefits for our clients and the environment.

More recently we have been monitoring our recycling chain for their own carbon footprints, their social and labour practices, governance practices, and pushing the chain to reduce their own emissions. This, alongside our own internal drive for Green House Gas reductions in line with science-based targets ( will continue to drive efficiencies and help pursue efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C to avoid the catastrophic impacts of climate change.


Find out more about our various Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) focuses in our other articles here.