Vodafone is replacing the standard credit card-sized SIM holder with a new half-sized format that reduces by 50% the amount of plastic used to produce SIMs as part of a wider strategy to minimise the company’s use of all non-essential plastics.
Starting from Christmas 2019, Vodafone stores will offer customers a range of eco-friendly accessories under the label ‘Red Loves Green’. These will include 100% biodegradable or recyclable phone cases made from, for example, reused ocean plastic, plus charging banks and docks made from sustainable materials and plastic-free packaging. Vodafone plans to expand its range of ‘Red Loves Green’ products at retail during 2020.
The more ethical, reliable and sustainable Fairphone 3 smartphone will also be available in the run up to Christmas in five Vodafone markets – Germany, Italy, UK, Spain, and Ireland – as part of a strategic partnership between the two companies. Fairphone 3 is sold with sustainable and reusable packaging and manufactured from responsibly sourced, conflict-free tin and tungsten, recycled copper and plastics, and gold sourced by Fairtrade.
Vodafone Director of External Affairs, Joakim Reiter said: “Halving our environmental impact means not only tackling material issues such as our carbon footprint and e-waste, but also taking action in other areas where we have an impact, such as the non-essential or disposable plastics we use in our retail stores and offices.
“Building on many of the initiatives launched across Vodafone’s markets, we want a consistent approach everywhere we operate. This begins with the roll out of half-sized SIMs, tackling unnecessary plastics in our offices and offering our customers eco-friendly accessories.”
These initiatives align with Vodafone’s purpose to improve the lives of 1 billion people while halving its environmental impact by 2025. This commitment by Vodafone includes halving its carbon footprint and purchasing all electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Vodafone has also committed to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of its network waste and help customers extend the lives of the devices they already own.
The new half-sized SIM cards will be provided to our customers in several European markets from the beginning of 2020 and will progressively replace the use of full-sized card holders across all Vodafone’s 24 markets.
The initiative alone will reduce Vodafone’s plastic waste by more than 340 tonnes per annum, and will save up to 15 tonnes of the CO2e emitted during production and transportation for every tonne of plastic reduced – a reduction of more than 5,000 tonnes of C02e annually.
Eliminating plastics at retail and in offices
Building on initiatives already in place in several Vodafone markets, Vodafone has also committed to eliminating all unnecessary plastics and other disposable single-use items where there are lower impact alternatives across all Vodafone retail stores and offices in 24 countries by the end of March 2020.
Vodafone’s 7,700 retail stores worldwide will no longer use disposable plastic bags and will also remove or restrict plastic marketing or promotional materials, replacing them with alternatives with a lower environmental impact.
In Vodafone’s offices, commonly used plastic office consumables – including pens and folders – will be substituted where feasible with reusable, recyclable office stationary. Vodafone will also ensure that disposable, single-use plastic bottles, cutlery, plates and straws used in catering are eliminated, while encouraging the use of reusable bottles, cups or glassware.
Vodafone is also engaging suppliers to reduce, remove or recycle excessive packaging in order to minimise plastic packaging in warehouses.