Mobile phone manufacturer Nokia has been recognised for its efforts to improve the mobile industry’s actions in tackling environmental issues.

The company has been given the award for Outstanding Environmental Contribution by communications body the GSM Association at the 2009 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

"It is an honour to accept this on behalf of the thousands of Nokia people who have made sustainable, environmentally sensitive practices an integral part of our day to day business," said Nokia chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.

"Environmental sustainability is not just the right thing to do, it is the only thing to do."

The firm was rewarded for the global scale of its environmental programme, which has seen the company establish the industry’s largest voluntary scheme for recycling old or unwanted mobile handsets.

Mr Kallasvuo had previously told delegates at the conference that "environmental leadership" would be an important driver in the future growth of the mobile market.

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