O2 are making a bold environmental statement with their latest campaign. A three-month trial saw the network provider sell flagship HTC One devices without a charger. Despite sounding like an unfortunate mistake at the factory, the company have deliberately removed chargers from the box in a bid to reduce waste.
O2 Get Environmental
In October 2012 O2 launched their ‘Chargers Out of the Box’ environmental initiative. The company began with a 3 month trial period, selling the latest HTC One devices without a charger. The phones are supplied with a USB cable that connects the device to a USB plug or computer for charging. Consumers who wanted or needed a new charger were given the option to purchase one at cost price.
The purpose of the initiative is to reduce electronic waste. At present, O2 estimate there could be anywhere up to 1 million unused chargers in UK homes; enough to fill four Olympic sized swimming pools.
O2 argue that many of the chargers still in circulation can be re-used for new devices. By encouraging consumers to use chargers already lying about at home, O2 are hoping to eradicate the manufacture of 30 million chargers every year. The environmental benefits are obvious. Consumers will be recycling goods that otherwise end up on the landfill and O2 will be saving approximately 18,700 tonnes of materials by making fewer chargers.
Before starting the HTC One trial, O2’s head of sustainability, Bill Eyres, predicted that 60% of consumers would happily buy a phone without a charger. Fast-forward several months and the scheme has proven to be much more successful than initially thought. A massive 82% of customers agreed to buy the device without a charger. Proving that with the right information, many people are on board with O2’s new scheme.
This is merely the beginning of the huge sustainability campaign that includes phasing out new mobile phone chargers entirely by 2015.
The Think Big Campaign saw O2 pledge 40 environmental and social goals. The impressive list of goals includes 23 environmental commitments to reduce carbon emissions, utilise renewable energy, reduce waste and avoid landfill sites.
O2 Lead the Charge with Charger-Free Phones
O2 are not content to make these changes alone. They are also urging their competitors to join the campaign and reduce the impact that millions of unused chargers have on the environment.
Ronan Dunne, chief executive of O2 is leading the charge, "The results of the trial demonstrate a clear willingness among consumers to consider and respond to the environmental argument for taking a phone charger-free," he said. "I now hope that as a result of this study the rest of the industry will now consider joining us in our campaign to take chargers out of the box for good."
Should other networks join the campaign it will be great news for consumers who will finally see an industry standardisation. You will be able to charge your phone using one standard cable, and any USB wall plug. So you will finally be able to use all those spare chargers from old phones, tablets and even eReaders.
Would you accept a phone without a charger? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
As the New SIM Card news writer, Rob reports on the latest UK mobile phone trends and SIM-Card deals. When it comes to technology, Rob is a sucker for the newest, brightest and shiniest piece of equipment on the market. While he remains an iPhone devotee, Rob is keen to hear your arguments why he should give Apple the old heave-ho and try something new. Connect with Rob on Google+