At O2, we're committed to doing what we can to protect the environment, and to help others do the same by delivering more sustainable choices.
• 450 tonnes of landfill waste saved through O2 Recycle. We launched O2 Recycle in 2009, the longest-running UK MNO recycling initiative – and have recycled three million devices and saved 450 tonnes of waste from landfill in the ten years since. We were also the first to introduce an eco-rating for new phones, and worked with manufacturers to take chargers out of the box on new device sales in 2012.
• Already 100% renewable energy in own operation. Today, approximately 70% of our total network is powered by renewable electricity. That is where we control the energy bill. The other 30% of our energy use is where network masts are on 3rd party land or buildings across the UK, where the electricity is provided by landlords. We’ll need to work hard to create technical & energy solutions to enable the transition across the whole operation.
• Our carbon heritage. We were the first mobile network in the world to be awarded the Carbon Trust Triple Standard for Carbon, Waste and Water, and we’re currently one of three companies in the world to hold the Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain at the highest possible level.
• Running an energy-saving network. Using advanced automation technology, O2’s 3G and 4G networks operate on a smart turn-off function – saving energy by dropping carriers and capacity when demand is low and bringing them up as it increases. O2 was the first UK operator to introduce this technology for 3G, making its network even more efficient and reliable for customers.
• Greening the supply chain. To meet our target of reducing emissions in our supply chain by 30% by 2025, we will use contract award and re-sign opportunities over the next five years to ensure our suppliers adopt carbon reduction targets and report on progress. As well as holding the Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain at Level 3, we were the winner of The Carbon Trust’s Best in Supply Chain Reduction award in 2019.
• Delivering IOT innovation to save energy. We are investing in connectivity projects at a community level (from improving traffic congestion right through to remote monitoring and smart metering). For example, we were chosen to provide connectivity for Smart Meters in over 23m locations, in the world’s biggest ever IoT (Internet of Things) deal. The programme aims to reduce the UK’s energy consumption in households by 25% by 2035. We continue to grow our IoT offering, with research suggesting that 5G-powered smart grids alone could save households £145 each a year on energy bills – and 5G smart cities set to drive £91 million of energy savings for local councils annually.