Vodafone announces an important initiative to extend the life of smartphones and encourage customers to trade in or recycle their old devices, for a more circular economy that limits waste production to a minimum and further reduces carbon emissions.
From next spring, Vodafone will offer its customers in Europe a complete and affordable package of services that will include insurance, technical support and repairs for their devices. Vodafone will also launch a new digital platform that will make it extremely easy for customers to evaluate the different offers to proceed with the trade-in of their smartphones.
Customers will be encouraged to return any mobile device that is no longer usable and, where possible, Vodafone will ensure that the devices are recycled responsibly or reused for social or beneficial purposes. A wide range of high quality, refurbished and competitively priced smartphones will also be offered.
Vodafone has also announced a strategic partnership with Recommerce for the large-scale trade-in and device management that will allow customers to benefit from high quality used devices.
Alex Froment-Curtil, Chief Commercial Officer of Vodafone Group, said: “Vodafone plays a leading role in driving the development of a circular economy in the mobile sector to reduce their impact on the environment. We are experimenting with a complete and innovative digital offering that makes it easier for our customers to extend the life of their smartphone or to buy and have a refurbished device “.
Augustin Becquet, CEO of Recommerce: “We are very proud to launch this partnership with Vodafone which is implementing the largest and most advanced device lifecycle management program in Europe. We are confident of the concrete effects that this long-term partnership will have on the environment and in the fight against climate change “.
Having a device for an extra year can reduce the CO2 impact over the life cycle of the smartphone by up to 29%. Buying a refurbished smartphone saves about 50 kg of CO2 – 20% or less compared to an equivalent new smartphone – and eliminates the need to extract 164 kg of raw materials. For every million smartphones that Vodafone receives through trade-in and then refurbished and resold, more than 50,000 tons of CO2 could potentially be avoided.
Trade-in, device repurchase and repair services are used in most of the markets in which Vodafone operates to encourage customers to have their old devices repaired or returned. The commitment that Vodafone makes today will ensure that all customers in Europe are able to benefit from a comprehensive and consistent digital approach that includes:
- insurance for the purchase of a new smartphone, including coverage against accidental damage;
- flexible trade-in options via a very easy-to-use app, which allows customers to promptly receive payment for their old device or to accrue a credit on the purchase of a new smartphone;
- rapid repair services that can extend the life of devices that have been accidentally damaged;
- Large-scale retail of a range of high quality used and refurbished smartphones as well as newer devices;
- Encourage customers to return their old smartphones for recycling or to be reused for social or charitable purposes.
On the occasion of “Black Friday” which took place on November 26, Vodafone launched an awareness campaign for consumers – “Bring Back Friday” – on various markets, encouraging them to return their old smartphones and receive credit for new devices in exchange. assuring them that their old devices would be recycled or repurposed responsibly. In Italy, consumers had the opportunity to bring an old smartphone to one of the many Vodafone Stores, obtaining in exchange a discount on the purchase of a new device as part of the Smart Change initiative, thus allocating the old device to new use. . Alternatively, it was possible to donate the smartphone, in the event that it had no residual value but was still functional, thus starting the components for complete reconditioning or any parts by the inmates of the Bollate Prison, as part of a project aimed at the reintegration of prisoners into the world of work and the circular economy.
Joakim Reiter, Chief External and Corporate Affairs Officer of Vodafone, said: “In recent years, Vodafone has made considerable progress in eliminating its”carbon footprint “, improving energy efficiency in all its activities, reviewing procurement procedures to ensure sustainability and promoting low carbon emissions for our customers. The next frontier of our strategy for the planet centers on achieving a more circular economy for consumers and for industry, both by operating individually and in collaboration with partners, by developing innovative programs that can address the growing challenges related to electronic waste. ”
Minimize network waste
Vodafone is committed to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of its network waste by 2025. To achieve this goal, Vodafone has implemented resource efficiency and waste disposal programs in all markets to minimize the environmental impact of network waste and unnecessary IT devices.
Vodafone encourages its markets to resell and reuse excess inventory or large disused electrical elements, such as masts and antennas, which have resulted in an 89% reduction in the carbon footprint of reused equipment compared to purchase. of new equipment. At the moment, Vodafone is evaluating the possibility of extending this solution to commercial partners and other operators.
Partnership to reduce waste
In 2021, Vodafone joined the “Circular Electronics Partnership”, which brings together the leaders of the value chain to promote circularity solutions in the electronics sector.
In May 2021, Vodafone also joined forces with four of Europe’s leading network operators to launch a new shared Eco Rating system to help consumers identify and compare the most sustainable mobile phones and encourage providers to reduce environmental impact of their devices.
Reduction of carbon emissions and promotion of energy efficiency
In November 2020, Vodafone set an evidence-based target to be achieved in 2030 (“2030 Science-Based Target”) in line with the reduction of carbon emissions necessary to keep global warming at 1.5oc, becoming the first major operator telephone to follow the path that will lead to a reduction in emissions designed for the ICT sector.
By 2030, Vodafone will eliminate its carbon footprint from its activities and from the energy it purchases and uses (Goals 1 and 2). Vodafone has also pledged to halve carbon emissions from energy sources (Goal 3) by 2030, including joint ventures, all purchases from supply chains, the use of products it has sold and business travel.
By 2040, Vodafone will have completely eliminated its carbon footprint (Goal 3 carbon footprint) – ten years ahead of its original goal of achieving the “net zero” carbon footprint of its total carbon footprint.
Vodafone has undertaken to purchase all electricity from renewable sources. All of Vodafone’s operations in Europe – including mobile and fixed networks, data centers, retail network and offices – are already powered 100% by electricity from renewable sources. Vodafone is now committed to achieving the same change of pace in Africa by 2025.
Vodafone continues to invest in energy efficiency projects and in the production of renewable energy on site, including procurement, use of more efficient network resources and dismantling the obsolete equipment present in its core network.
To ensure that Vodafone customers can reduce their emissions
Vodafone is committed to helping its business customers reduce carbon emissions by a combined total of 350 million tons worldwide in the decade 2020 – 2030 – the equivalent of Italy’s annual carbon emissions in 2019.
Vodafone’s IoT services will largely contribute to customers’ energy savings, helping them improve the efficiency of logistics and fleet management, smart metering, manufacturing and other activities.
Working with suppliers
Vodafone applies a 20% weighting for environmental and social criteria when suppliers bid for tenders for new jobs, checking if they implement environmental policies to address carbon reduction, renewable energy, plastic reduction, circular economy and product life cycles.