O2’s new Energy Saver options are claimed to offer handset owners “simple ways to reduce the environmental impact from their mobile behaviour”.
In particular, O2 is going to try to discourage people from replacing their phones at the end of a contract. O2 customers who decide to stick with their handset will be offered a choice of £100 credit, or £95 credit and a £5 donation to the O2 Energy Saver fund which O2 will match.
The thinking here is that the total CO2 emission from the production and distribution of an average handset is at least 7.5kg — equivalent to the internal space of a family car. And if every mobile user in the UK delayed handset replacement by a year, that would equate to 187,000 cars being removed from the road annually.
Anyone who signs up to a new SIM-only contract will also benefit from the second O2 Energy Saver option providing they agree to keep their current handsets. This is a ‘paperless’ tariff; all bills and services are available via email or online; and for every new contract, O2 will donate £5 to the Energy Saver fund.
The SIM-only tariffs start at £20 for 100 minutes, 500 texts and 1MB data.
The Energy Saver fund will be run by O2 and the Energy Saving Trust to run ‘hit squads’ tasked with helping communities use less energy, create less waste and less pollution, and generally lower their contribution to climate change. O2 says no more than 10% of each donation will go towards administration and governance costs, with at least 90% going direct to “energy saving projects that make a real difference”.