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Tue 22 Nov 2022 | by Rob Hutchins

Vodafone partners with WWF to supercharge its circular economy strategy

Vodafone and WWF have launched a global partnership to support the business reduce carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2040 and help eliminate e-waste by encouraging a more circular economy for mobile phones. Called One Million Phones for the Planet, the partnership will help accelerate and refine Vodafone’s circular economy strategy by increasing the number of traded-in, refurbished, and recycled devices. Purchasing a refurbished smartphone saves around 50kg of CO2e, making its contribution to climate change 87% lower than that of the equivalent, newly manufactured smartphone, while removing the need to extract 76.9kg of raw materials. The programme will aim to inspire Vodafone’s customers in Europe and Africa to hand in their old devices as part of a trade-in, for a donation to social causes, or to be recycled responsibly. Every phone collected during the programme – which is planned to run for the next three years – will see £1 – or the local equivalent – donated by Vodafone to WWF conservation projects across the world. One Million Phones for the Planet will help accelerate Vodafone’s four-pronged approach for device circularity to help the mobile industry move towards a more circular economy that minimises waste and further reduces carbon emissions. The company will offer competitively priced trade in offers through a new digital platform, making it straightforward for customers to agree trade-in options for their existing phones. Through these traded-in phones, Vodafone expects to increase the overall number of high-quality, competitively priced refurbished smartphones that it can offer customers at retail. To prolong the life of existing devices, Vodafone is rolling out a comprehensive and convenient suite of services for customers in Europe, including insurance, support, and repairs. Finally, any redundant devices that Vodafone receives will continue to be recycled responsibly or repurposed for social or charitable causes whenever possible. Vodafone is also driving action to reduce device waste and progressing against its target to reuse, resell, or recycle 100% of its network waste. Tanya Steele, chief executive of WWF UK, said: “Every one of us has a role to play in helping to bring our world back to life, and the technology we use every day can play a major role in tackling the climate and nature emergency. Through our partnerships with Vodafone, we will be exploring how everyone can reduce their environmental footprint using digital technologies and services, while also using mobile technology to drive forward key WWF conservation projects around the world. “We look forward to working together on our shared vision for the planet.” Vodafone will harness WWF’s global network of expertise in environmental issues and international capability for leading the fight against the climate and nature emergency.