The role of International Standards and of the Basel Convention in tackling e-waste and achieving a Circular Economy

Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions Secretariat and International Telecommunication Union

session 340 organizer(s) logo

Session 340

11:00–12:45, Friday, 23 March 2018 Room K2, ITU Montbrillant Thematic Workshop Speakers/Panellists  Link to WSIS Action Lines  Link to SDGs  Summary Document 

Share on:  Facebook  Twitter  Twitter

Sharing experiences and solutions for sustainable e-waste management towards a circular economy

E-waste generation is growing fast, in the world, leaving a hazardous legacy in our lives. In many households, more than one ICT device per person is becoming the norm and the life cycle of ICT equipment is shorter because of innovations rapidly introduced in the market. In 2016, 44.7 metric tons of e-waste was generated in the world and only 20% was collected, in average, (UNU/ITU/ISWA, 2017). Estimates show that in 2021 e-waste generation in the world will reach 52.2 million metric tons, calling for action to increase the world capacity to collect the growing amounts of e-wastes that will be generated. Since the beginning of the years 2000, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Basel Convention developed international standards and technical policy guidance to tackle the e-waste problem for governments, the private sector and other stakeholders. This session aims to provide a brief overview of these international standards and technical policy guidance. It will also provide a platform for stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities, sharing experiences and best practices including on policies and standards aimed at increasing recycling of e-waste and achieving a circular economy.

Private sector representatives will introduce how e-waste prevention and minimization can be achieved through green-design of ICT equipment. Government representatives will introduce their ICT development strategy and strategies for the environmentally sound management of e-waste, at the national and regional levels.

Come and learn how you can tackle the e-waste problem in your private life, in your government or in your work in the ICT sector.



Opening Remarks

Dr.  Chaesub Lee, Director, Telecommunication Standardization Bureau, ITU 


Mr. Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions


Ms. Cristina Bueti, Counsellor on Environment, Climate Change and Circular Economy (ITU-T Study Group 5), ITU

Ms. Francesca Cenni, Programme Officer, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Convention Secretariat

Mr. Paolo Gemma, Senior Specialist on issues related to energy saving and environmental sustainability, Huawei

Ms. Nevine Tewfik, Head of Research, Studies and Policies, IR Division, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Egypt

Mr. Federico Magalini, Managing Director Sofies UK


Session's link to WSIS Action Lines

  • AL C7 e-Env logo C7. ICT Applications: E-environment

This session will introduce a very important dimension of environmental and human health protection through the sustainable management of end-of-life ICT equipment.

Session's link to Sustainable Development Process

  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities logo Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production logo Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
  • Goal 13: Climate action logo Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

This session promotes action to prevent,  minimize hazardous waste production contributing to sustainable development target 12.4: By 2020, achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle, in accordance with agreed international frameworks, and significantly reduce their release to air, water and soil in order to minimize their adverse impacts on human health and the environment. The session aims at raising awareness of decent jobs in the e-waste recycling sector, contributing to a circular economy where materials and energy are not wasted and of GHG gas emissions are reduced. A sustainable e-waste management system starts in sustainable cities, where the collection and take back systems can be more effective.

Session Summary



Link to this session