Course info

Course Overview

This MOOC is offered by Climate-KIC Online Education and hosted on an external platform.

Let’s get it right for people, planet, and profit.

Why should we care?

E-waste can be a threat to our planet: Illegal and poorly managed e-waste is polluting our environment, harming human health, and contributing to human-made climate change. The worst impacts are often in the countries that are least equipped to manage it.

Or it can be a valuable resource: By recycling materials contained in e-waste, we can save on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from primary mining, we can create green jobs, and we can create economic opportunities. 

Is the course for me?

Yes, everyone is welcome! The MOOC is a free course that is open to all; it is designed for anyone with an interest in taking action on managing our e-waste. You may be a recycler, a policy maker, a government official, a student, a teacher, a researcher, or an entrepreneur. Or just someone who cares about our planet!

Can I afford the time?

There’s flexibility in how long you can spend on the MOOC . Simply choose one of the pathways described below in the course details (Duration). 

What’s this course about?

This course will help you to understand why and how we must manage e-waste in an environmentally sound manner and how you can take action on e-waste in your own life, business, or organization.

The aims of the course are to:

  • Show how sound management of e-  waste can help reduce GHG emissions and prevent hazards to health and the environment in accordance with the Basel, Rotterdam, and Stockholm Conventions 
  • Share best practices, technological innovations, and sustainable e-waste recovery and recycling business models 
  • Explore how the value in e-waste can be extracted in a way that supports the local economy and protects people’s health and the environment.  

Learning Objectives

The five modules of The E-waste Challenge MOOC will enable you to:

  • Appreciate the scale of the e-waste problem and the legal framework for managing e-waste in your geographical or professional context 

  • Recognize the environmental, health, and climate-related risks posed by e-waste, as well as the potential value of e-waste 

  • Explain, and apply,  the principles and practice of environmentally sound management (ESM) of e-waste, and design sustainable solutions to reduce the quantity of products that become e-waste 

  • Develop a project proposal to address an e-waste problem or opportunity that demonstrates some positive impact on environment, health, and climate change

  • Consider practical actions to take your learning from the MOOC into the real world and help to raise public awareness.

For a detailed breakdown of the learning outcomes, download the PDF.


We hope this MOOC will give you the knowledge, skills, and confidence to take action. Maybe you’ll have a BIG IDEA and start a new project or business, or maybe you’ll help to create tools and solutions for others. We hope you’ll become an active participant in our learning community and make your contribution felt. Whatever your goal, the MOOC has something for you.  

We are all about action, so at the heart of our MOOC is the E-waste Challenge. There are activities spread across the whole MOOC which you - and the entire E-waste Challenge MOOC learning community - can take part in. The MOOC will help you shape and develop your ideas for an e-waste project, which you will share with others at the end of the course. The MOOC will track what you do, so you are always sure where you are and what to do next.

When you complete and submit your assignment you will receive a Certificate of Completion. If you are studying the course with a university or another partner, it may make separate arrangements to recognize your effort, but this will be outside the MOOC platform.

Certification and Additional Info

We understand that not everyone has the time to complete the whole MOOC – and that’s fine. Once the course is open in April, you are free to choose your own learning pathway – to do as much, or as little, as you like. You can opt in and out of different parts and complete only those that are most useful and relevant to you.

The course is divided into interactive bite-sized ‘learning nuggets’ and you can decide what you would like to study and when. A quick way to make your choice is to select the information icon on each learning nugget, which will give you a summary of what it is about.

The course materials will remain available to you once you are registered so you can always return to complete further learning nuggets at a later date if you get busy.

Certificate pathway

To receive the Certificate of Completion and to complete the Challenge, we recommend that you allow about eight weeks to work through the entire MOOC, with a study time of 4-6 hours a week, including activity and discussion time (about 35 hours in total). You are free to continue to access the course after eight weeks, so you can spend longer if you choose.

Self-selecting pathway (mini-MOOC)

If you want to take a shorter route through the MOOC, you can study only the learning nuggets of your choice and leave the Challenge Journal activities and the final assignment.

We recommend that everyone completes the learning nuggets in Modules 1 and 2. Then, depending on your discipline or interest area, you can pick and choose the nuggets in Modules 3, 4, and 5.

Each learning nugget gives you an approximate completion time in the ‘About’ section on the first screen. Although this route will not entitle you to a certificate, you will still gather evidence of your participation if you complete the activities and take part in discussions.

University pathway

If you are on the university pathway, your tutor will explain the university’s expectations of you. If the university is giving any accreditation for your work, your tutor will tell you how this will happen and it may involve further work outside the Climate-KIC platform.


Climate-KIC Online Education

Climate-KIC is the EU’s largest public-private partnership addressing climate change through innovation to build a zero-carbon economy. We run programmes for students, start-ups, and innovators across Europe via centres in major cities, convening a community of the best people and organizations. Climate-KIC is supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), a body of the European Union.