Press Release | 17 May 2022

Orange launches the “Re” initiative in Europe during the 2022 ChangeNOW international summit

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Over the past five years, ChangeNOW has offered a platform for entrepreneurs, large corporations, public figures, and NGO leaders to present their environmental initiatives. From May 19 to 21, 2022, professionals and the general public will get involved in roundtable discussions, interactive conferences, pitches, exhibitions and networking.

Orange, ChangeNOW’s partner for 2022, has made the environment a core aspect of its Engage 2025 strategic plan. Because economic performance goes hand-in-hand with social and environmental accountability, ChangeNOW is an opportunity for Orange to demonstrate the specific progress it has made in these areas, particularly through the launch of the “Re” initiative in Europe

Launch of the “Re” circular economy initiative throughout Europe

Each year, more than 1.5 billion mobile phones are manufactured worldwide yet just 1-2% of these phones are recycled globally.

On October 8, 2020, Orange launched the “Re” initiative, based around three pillars: recycling, returns and refurbishment. The goal was to raise public awareness of the environmental impact of mobile phones, recycling, and give a second life to mobile equipmentand therefore consolidate Orange’s commitment to the circular economy in all our activities and practices.

In October 2021, Orange extended this commitment by establishing the initiative's fourth pillar: repairs.

Orange now allows all of its customers to give a second life to their phone.

  • Recycling

Orange recycles phones that no longer work and/or have no cash value. In France, all profits from recycling are donated to the Emmaüs International network. 

  • Returns

Orange customers can trade in their phone in-store for an immediate discount or credit voucher. Returns can give a second life to the mobile and in France, 2 euros from each return are donated to the Emmaüs International network.

  • Refurbishment

As an alternative to buying a brand-new phone, Orange offers a range of refurbished phones for sale, collaborating with experts in second-hand mobiles: Recommerce, Intancia, Cordon, Renewd. 

  • Repairs

Mobiles can be dropped off and then collected after being repaired at 530 Orange stores in metropolitan France. On average, the phone is repaired within 24 hours. The customer can track the repair automatically by email and SMS. Repairs receive a 12-month warranty.

Since its launch in France, the “Re” initiative has ramped up the collection rate (recycling + returns) of used mobiles, from 13.4% in 2020 to 22.3% in 2021, in line with the 30% target Orange has set for 2025.

In total, around 1.9 million mobiles have been returned and recycled since the initiative launched.

Based on this experience in France, Orange has decided to continue its efforts to develop this initiative, and in 2022 it is extending and launching the “Re” initiative in all countries in Europe where the Group operates.

Following successful launches in Luxembourg, Belgium, and Poland at the start of the year, Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, and Spain will launch the initiative in the coming months.

Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Deputy CEO, Europe at Orange, explains: I am delighted and proud that Orange is consolidating its commitment and its initiatives to support the circular economy and sustainable development by launching the Re initiative throughout Europe. This launch will not only give us a unified insight into our commitments, but it will also allow us to support and guide our customers, and, more generally, the general public with their responsible actions. We offer a true ‘toolbox’ to help limit the environmental impact of mobile phones.


The results of the international Solidarity FabLabs challenge live on the Orange stage at ChangeNOW

The international challenge is aimed at young people looking to enter the world of work, who Orange trains for free at our Solidarity FabLabs.

This year, the projects directly address UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 2: "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture."

Over the past few months, 15 “AgriMakers” projects from 10 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East were shortlisted by the Orange Foundation, with three then chosen by the online audience and jury.

These three remaining teams, chosen as finalists on May 10, will be put to a public vote on ChangeNOW’s main stage.

Discover the three projects here


Committed speeches throughout the summit

To promote Orange’s commitments to the environment at a leading event, and support entrepreneurial momentum to benefit sustainable growth, Orange speeches are planned throughout the event:

  • Friday, May 20 at 11:15 on the ChangeNOW main stage: “Corporate responsibility: from collaborations to coalitions

Christel Heydemann, Orange CEO, will review the importance of collaboration to globally drive the ecological transition.

  • Friday, May 20 at 13:45 on one of the ChangeNOW main stages: “Social innovation as a driver for business

Elizabeth Tchoungui, Orange Executive Director, CSR, will discuss social innovation and inclusion, which are not only essential for accelerating change, but also a driver for business.

  • Friday, May 20 in the afternoon on the ChangeNOW Live TV stage: “Launch of the Re initiative in Europe

Marie-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Orange Deputy CEO, Europe, will talk about the Group’s environmental commitments through the Re initiative in Europe.

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About Orange

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with revenues of 43.5 billion euros in 2022 and 136,000 employees worldwide at 31 December 2022, including 75,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 287 million customers worldwide at 31 March 2023, including 74,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 288 million customers worldwide at 31 March 2023, including 243 million mobile customers and 24 million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 26 countries. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies under the brand Orange Business. In February 2023, the Group presented its strategic plan « Lead the Future », built on a new business model and guided by responsibility and efficiency. « Lead the Future » capitalizes on network excellence to reinforce Orange's leadership in service quality.

Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN).
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