Vodafone teams with WWF to reduce emissions and recycle mobile devices

Vodafone x WWF
(Image credit: Vodafone)

Leading mobile network and technology communications company, Vodafone, has partnered with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the launch of the One million phones for the planet campaign that aims to encourage customers to trade in older devices, enticed by Vodafone's competitively priced trade-in offers, as part of a larger circular economy plan for recycling mobile devices.

One of the largest independent conservation organizations in the world, the WWF fight to ensure a world with thriving habitats and species, and work to tackle the main causes of nature’s decline that involve aspects of climate change and food chain systems. Vodafone say it will donate £1, or the local equivalent, to WWF for every phone traded in, to support conservation projects across the world.

See our review of the world's most eco-friendly phone!

This new major global partnership between Vodafone and WWF highlights the importance of recycling our smart devices and purchasing second-hand where possible, to not only reduce the amount of E-waste that is produced each year but to support the creation of a circular economy drive for smartphone recycling.

Vodafone states that one of its main goals in this partnership, and as part of the One million phones for the planet campaign, is to reduce carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by the year 2040, and to refine the company's circular economy strategy by increasing the number of traded-in, refurbished and recycled devices from customers. 

The One million phones for the planet campaign will run alongside Vodafone's other existing device campaigns including Germany’s One For One appeal and Vodafone UK’s Great British Tech Appeal. The company supposedly has what it calls a four-pronged approach for device circularity, having announced it back in February, to help the mobile industry minimize waste and reduce carbon emissions.

Vodafone x WWF (Image credit: Vodafone)

Purchasing a refurbished and second-hand smartphone could save around 50kg of CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent), reports Vodafone, with an 87% less contribution to climate change than a newly manufactured smartphone by eliminating the need to extract 76.9 kg of new raw materials for a new device.

Strategic initiatives will be launching soon across Vodafone markets in Europe, the UK, and Africa that include apps encouraging Vodafone customers to make more sustainable choices, as well as projects in South Africa, Germany, and the UK that will use mobile technology to help address sustainability challenges.

Vodafone will also be harness WWF’s global network of expertise in this new partnership, raising awareness of environmental issues as well as the international capability for leading the fight against the climate and nature emergency.   

The company expects to increase the overall number of high-quality and competitively priced refurbished secondhand smartphones that it can offer customers in retail stores, and the announcement of partnership from Vodafone states that it will responsibly recycle or repurpose any redundant devices that are traded in for social or charitable causes whenever it's possible to do so.

Vodafone Group Chief Executive, Nick Read, has shared that “WWF and Vodafone strongly believe that we can all make greener choices about how we use technology. Our partnership with WWF will create new initiatives to encourage our customers to take actions that could help reduce their carbon emissions and reduce pressure on the planet’s natural resources.”

Tanya Steele, Chief Executive of WWF-UK, suggested “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."

She continues, "Through our partnership 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 says it believes that business success should not come at a cost to the environment, and it is committed as a company to using natural resources more efficiently, while driving action to reduce device waste and progressing against its target to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of its network waste.

You may also want to take a look at the best camera phone for photographers, as well as the best burner phones, and see our guides on what to look out for when buying second-hand tablets and iPads, and learn Why I've only ever bought second-hand cameras.

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Beth Nicholls
Staff Writer

A staff writer for Digital Camera World, Beth has an extensive background in various elements of technology with five years of experience working as a tester and sales assistant for CeX. After completing a degree in Music Journalism, followed by obtaining a Master's degree in Photography awarded by the University of Brighton, she spends her time outside of DCW as a freelance photographer specialising in live music events and band press shots under the alias 'bethshootsbands'.