Under pressure from environmentalists, Indian outsourcer Wipro announced Monday that in September it will offer a free e-waste disposal service to its PC customers.
Besides its core business in outsourcing, Wipro also assembles and sells PCs under its brand for the domestic market.
The e-waste disposal offer will cover all Wipro-branded PCs, but will not cover products from other vendors such as computer peripherals, like printers, that Wipro resells to its customers, said Ashutosh Vaidya, vice president of the personal computing division of Wipro of Bangalore.
The company has arranged with an undisclosed e-waste processor to handle the PCs that are brought in, Vaidya said. The e-waste processing company is already handling e-waste generated by Wipro’s large outsourcing business, he added.
The environmentalist organization Greenpeace International last September dumped some 500 kilograms of electronic waste outside of Wipro’s Bangalore headquarters. The activists said that they had collected the scrapped Wipro-branded computers from recycling yards in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. They targeted Wipro because it is an “iconic” Indian company, and its adoption of environmentally friendly practices could set a trend for the rest of the PC industry.
Earlier this month, Greenpeace challenged Wipro and its chairman, Azim Premji, to be the first Indian electronics company to tackle the growing e-waste crisis.
Wipro has been working on an e-waste disposal strategy for about a year, even before the Greenpeace protests, and has set up a process for e-waste disposal, Vaidya said.
Wipro also announced Monday that it expects to have components in its PCs by the middle of next year that comply with requirements of the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances, which was adopted in February 2003 and took effect this month. The directive restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of various types of electronic and electrical equipment.
-John Ribeiro, IDG News Service (Bangalore Bureau)
Check out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.