Every year during the Ambassadors Dinner, the ‘Doing Business in Africa’ (DBA) award is presented to one of NABC’s notable members. This award aims to reward a company’s contribution to sustainable and inclusive economic development within Africa. “Our business philosophy is to create value locally. So receiving an award that acknowledges what we do is crucial,” explained Mr. Joost de Kluijver, Founder of DBA 2019 winner Closing the Loop (CtL).
At present, electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. CtL offers circular services for telecom. When one phone is used in Europe, CtL compensates it by responsibly collecting and recycling a scrap phone in Africa. “As a company, We have shown that it is possible to turn a large waste problem into economic and social value, and valuable raw materials,” said Mr. Reinhardt Smit, the Supply Chain Director.
So far, the company has rescued 2.5 million telephones from being dumped, generating income for more than 2000 people who collect the phones. “It was very strange that in a continent where telephones were incredibly important and created much value, there was nowhere on the continent to properly recycle a telephone,” Mr. de Kluijver said about his motives for setting up CtL. It is currently not possible to recycle e-waste in Africa. “We want to show that circularity can work in developing countries by recycling locally,” Mr. Smit added. “Our goal is to set up a recycling plant in Africa in the next three to five years”. “Winning the award motivates us to bring attention and visibility to the benefits of circularity,” Mr. de Kluijver expressed.
Closing the Loop hopes to show the relevance of implementing circular aspirations of multinationals in Africa. “Let’s make the world better today, not tomorrow,” Mr. Smit concluded.