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O2 Sustainability Goals: 100% Renewables, an End to Bundled Chargers

O2 will use 100 percent renewable energy and will no longer offer chargers free with mobile phone purchases, as part of a three-year sustainability plan launched today.

The Think Big Blueprint will deliver up to 4 million tons of carbon savings through three core objectives and 40 individual commitments, according to the European telecoms company, which has over 22 million customers.

O2’s “Think Big for planet” objective is built on 23 individual commitments, including:

  • Halve the emissions of its network, relative to increases in data traffic
  • Procure 100 percent renewable energy, for all sites where O2 controls the energy bill
  • Have at least one carbon neutral site, achieved through renewable on-site generation
  • No longer provide chargers as standard with new phones
  • Reduce absolute carbon emissions in offices and retail stores by 25 percent
  • Use 25 percent less water in offices and switch sites
  • Take sustainability into account in every major purchasing decision
  • Ask all major suppliers to set up programs to cut their environmental impact and to increase their contribution to society
  • Lead the industry to clean up substances of concern, delivering minimum sourcing standards and deadlines for the elimination of unacceptable substances
  • Launch a Supplier Forum to promote sustainability innovation and best practices in its supply chain
  • Strengthen assessment of suppliers’ management of corporate responsibility in their own supply chain and by 2014 require all relevant suppliers to routinely complete Electronics – Tool for Accountable Supply Chains assessments
  • Audit all high-risk suppliers against the O2 Responsible Supply Chain Policy
  • Significantly reduce packaging and operating instructions for all the mobile phones it sells
  • Adopt a zero-plastic bag policy and reduce the volume of paper used in receipts by 50 percent
  • Send no waste from its offices and retail stores to landfill (where facilities exist)
  • Make mobile phones last longer by promoting Simplicity (its SIM-only plan), encouraging software updates, and reducing customer returns rates
  • Recycle more phones and actively promote the use of refurbished phones
  • Make sure that the sustainability performance of the phones it sells never drops, as measured though its Eco rating score.

The “Think Big for customers” pledge includes commitments to:

  • Save 350,000 U.K. households over 300,000 tons of carbon
  • Help install 10,000 electric vehicle charging points (with information on how to find and use them)
  • Help 500,000 drivers save 1.5 billion liters of fuel and 3.35 million tons of CO2 by helping them drive more efficiently and more safely.

The third leg of the plan, “Think Big for people,” includes pledges to provide training and work experience for young people.

Non-profit organization Forum for the Future will work with O2 to monitor, evaluate and report back on progress against each of the 40 commitments contained in the plan. The complete list of commitments is available here.

In 2009, O2’s became the the first mobile network to be certified under the Carbon Trust standard.

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