O2 achieves global industry first with triple Carbon Trust Certification

O2 has become the first mobile telecommunications company in the world to be awarded triple certification to the Carbon Trust Standard for carbon, water and waste.

The Carbon Trust Standard is an independent certification which recognises organisations that successfully measure, manage and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, water use and waste, demonstrating leadership in their industry by making real progress year-on-year.

Telefónica UK’s Think Big Blueprint sets out O2’s three goals and 40 commitments to sustainability. Within this, O2 has implemented a range of initiatives to improve energy efficiency and reduce water use and waste. These initiatives include:

  • Deploying more efficient network equipment, such as power delivery and cooling systems across the network
  • Upgrading lighting to LEDs in stores and in switch/data centres
  • Recycling 95% of general waste from O2 offices/retail stores and data centres
  • Reducing water consumption in offices by over 25% per person
  • Eco-rating phones on their environmental and ethical performance – another global first

Vijay Chouhan, O2’s Energy Manager, said:

“This is a great achievement for O2 and recognition of all the hard work that goes on around the business in order to reduce our environmental impact. From day to day operations to upstream and downstream supply chains, right through to our products and services, we believe that it is important to invest in reducing our footprint.

“We were the first Mobile telecommunications company in the UK to be awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for Carbon in 2010 and then the first in the industry to successfully renew that Standard in 2012. It shows both that we deliver on our Blueprint plan and that we’ve not forgotten our own impact whilst we’re helping our customers lower theirs.”

The Carbon Trust triple Standard certification takes into account a variety of O2’s sustainability initiatives as part of Think Big, including:

  • Charger out of the box – Mobile phones are now sold without chargers as standard, to reduce the amount of environmental waste that spare and unnecessary chargers create
  • O2 Recycle lets people trade in old phones and other electronic gadgets for up to £260. Devices are processed for re-use or recycling, or stripped down for responsible disposal
  • O2 Refresh splits the cost of the phone and the airtime, meaning that customers can upgrade early and recycle their old handset, or keep their handset, saving money and the planet’s resources
  • Electronic waste recycling – When customers buy a new electronic product with O2, they will take back the customer’s old one on a like-for-like basis.
  • Universal chargers are energy efficient and compatible with over 96% of the O2 product range
  • SIM-only deals mean that customers can save the planet’s resources by extending the life of their old handset
  • Paperless billing saves over 139 million sheets of paper from being consumed every year
  • Substances of Concern – Telefónica UK has developed a list of substances of concern which proactively seeks to remove substances of concern.

Darran Messem, Managing Director of Certification at the Carbon Trust, said:

“Setting ambitious goals is an important first step to making impressive progress, and O2’s Think Big Blueprint sets a number of stretching targets on environmental sustainability. We are delighted to certify that O2 has achieved the Carbon Trust Standard for making real reductions carbon, water, and waste, which has enabled the company to become the first in its sector to receive this triple award.”