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Wednesday, 30 November 2022 12:39

Vodafone team with WWF to get one million mobile phones into circular economy

A new 'one million phones for the planet' programme has been launched by Vodaphone, and environmental group WWF, to eliminate e-waste and encourage a more circular economy for mobile phones by increasing the number of traded-in, refurbished and recycled devices.

vodafone circular phone1Purchasing a refurbished smartphone saves around 50kg of CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent) – making its contribution to climate change 87% lower than that of the equivalent, newly manufactured smartphone – and removes the need to extract 76.9 kg of raw materials.

The programme aims to inspire Vodafone's customers in Europe and Africa to hand in their old devices as part of a trade-in, for a donation to social causes, or to be recycled. Starting from late November 2022, every phone collected during the programme will see £1, or the local equivalent, donated by Vodafone to WWF conservation projects across the world.

Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of WWF-UK, said: "Every one of us has a role to play in helping to bring our world back to life, and the technology we use every day can play a major role in tackling the climate and nature emergency. Through our partnership with Vodafone, we will be exploring how everyone can reduce their environmental footprint using digital technologies and services, while also using mobile technology to drive forward key WWF conservation projects around the world. We look forward to working together on our shared vision for the planet."

Vodafone's three-year partnership with WWF will see strategic initiatives launched across Vodafone markets in Europe and Africa. These will include apps to help Vodafone customers make more sustainable choices, as well as projects in South Africa, Germany, and the UK that use mobile technology to help address conservation and sustainability challenges.

vodafone circular phone2Vodafone will harness WWF's global network of expertise in environmental issues and international capability for leading the fight against the climate and nature emergency.

One million phones for the planet will run alongside existing device campaigns including Germany's One For One appeal and the Vodafone UK's Great British Tech Appeal. It will help accelerate Vodafone's four-pronged approach for device circularity, announced in February 2022, to help the mobile industry move towards a more circular economy that minimises waste and further reduces carbon emissions:

Trade-in – Vodafone will offer competitively priced trade-in offers, delivered through a new digital platform making it straightforward for customers to agree trade-in options for their existing phones.

Refurbish and resell – Through devices received via trade-in and other device partnerships, Vodafone expects to increase the overall number of refurbished smartphones that it can offer customers at retail.

Repair – To prolong the life of existing devices, Vodafone is rolling out a suite of services for customers in Europe, including insurance, support, and repairs.

Recycle – Any redundant devices that Vodafone receives will continue to be recycled responsibly or repurposed for social or charitable causes whenever possible.

Vodafone's target is to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of its network waste. It claims that its business success should not come at a cost to the environment.