O2 is set to halve the emissions of its network, push Sim-only deals and not offer phone chargers as standard as part of a new three-year sustainability plan.
Its Think Big Blueprint was launched today (7 February), outlining its sustainability strategy of 40 individual commitments across three main goals – Think Big for planet, customers and business. Among its trade-specific commitments are asking major suppliers to cut their environmental impact, reduce packaging and operating instructions for every phone sold, adopt a zero bag policy and send no waste from its offices and stores to landfill by 2015.
O2's head of sustainability Bill Eyres refused to say exactly how much the operator will save from the plan. Think Big came from a year's research among customers, stakeholders and environmental organisations. He told Mobile: 'There's a greater appetite for this from customers. They want value and values. They see this as part of the offer we can give them. In a competitive market, people want this as part of the service you get. Quite frankly, you are at a disadvantage if you don't do this.
'There's also a strong economic argument for doing this. Energy prices are going up and it makes good business sense if you implement the savings. Sustainability isn't a luxury as such. It's more of a critically efficient way to run your business given the tough economic market.'
Eyres said offers like its recent leasing contract, where customers can use a smartphone without owning it, or its driver efficiency system O2 Drive were means of making other businesses greener. He said: 'We have pretty robust savings we can pass onto customers. There's flexible working which, with pressures on businesses to work more efficiently, they can reduce office space and enable staff to send data back to the office remotely from working in the field, for example.'
Eyres said around 70% of the goals were 'achievable' with the remainder a means to 'drive innovation within the company'.
O2 CEO Ronan Dunne said: 'This blueprint is not simply a 'nice to have'. In an era of heightened economic and social concern, it's an essential part of our long-term business strategy that will enable us to unlock sustainable growth and encourage positive environmental change.'