At RBC, we are committed to reducing our environmental footprint through a variety of programs and initiatives. One of the ways we can reduce our impact is by disposing of our electronic waste, commonly referred to as e-waste, in a responsible and ethical manner.
E-waste refers to all electrical or electronic devices such as computers, monitors, televisions, cell phones and batteries that have been discarded and are no longer in use. Many electronic devices contain toxic and hazardous materials like lead, cadmium and mercury. If electronic waste is simply disposed of in landfills, hazardous materials could contaminate soil, water and air resulting environmental impacts and health risks. We also have an ethical responsibility to ensure e-waste is not shipped to other countries with limited environmental and health and safety standards. In addition, electronic devices are rich in precious metals, such copper, gold, platinum and palladium that can be recovered and reused.
In 2011, with the support of our electronic waste service provider, Global Electric Electronic Processing (GEEP), we tracked the disposal of over 37,000 electronic items in Canada, including CPUs, monitors, laptops, printers, servers and other specialized equipment. GEEP has a “no export” policy, which means e-waste is not shipped overseas for dismantling and disposal. GEEP also reported a better than 99 per cent landfill diversion rate for RBC e-waste.
How we’re doing
Source: Corporate Responsibility Review
In addition to environmental benefits, GEEP’s information security systems ensure maximum protection for RBC data and GEEP helps RBC maximize its return on obsolete and end-of-life inventory.
In 2012, a group of RBC employees visited GEEP’s corporate headquarters in Barrie, Ontario, Canada and saw first hand how our electronic equipment is received, processed, stored and refurbished or recycled.