We have launched a new initiative that will see mobile phones being sold without chargers. This is the first time that any UK based network has been bold enough to make this step – O2 is taking the initiative as a UK sustainability leader.
Our estimates show that there are more than 100 million unused chargers lying in UK homes and offices. That's a lot of chargers and a lot of waste. With an estimated 30 million new phones purchased each year in the UK – the problem is growing.
Now that standardised chargers are available on the market, it is likely that people will have compatible chargers at home already.
Our research tells us that as many as 70% of customers already have suitable chargers – highlighting that you really don't need a new charger every time you purchase a new phone.
Mobile phones will come with a micro-USB to USB charging cable, which can be used for charging from a computer or any USB Compatible charger. And if customers find that they really do need a charger, we will be able to provide them with one at a discounted price.
This is a step towards our commitment as set out in the Think Big Blueprint Sustainability plan; to no longer offer a new charger as standard with a new phone by 2015. Doing this will reduce the amount of resources used in the manufacturing and packaging process, the amount of waste sent to landfill and the amount of fuel used for transport.
Consumer research has also shown us how important raising customer-awareness is on this issue; when the environmental savings are explained, over 70% of people support getting rid of unnecessary chargers.
This step is bold and it is challenging, creating huge environmental savings. Our CEO, Ronan Dunne, has already called for other manufacturers and operators to follow. We hope that our leadership will shake up the industry.