Planet | 22 Nov 2022

Vodafone and WWF announce global partnership

New ‘one million phones for the planet’ programme launched to support circular economy drive.

Vodafone and WWF today announced a major global partnership that will support Vodafone’s goals to reduce carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2040, help to eliminate e-waste, and encourage a more circular economy for mobile phones.

The partnership launches with a new programme – one million phones for the planet – to help accelerate and refine Vodafone’s circular economy strategy by increasing the number of traded-in, refurbished and recycled devices.

The Circular Economy: Everything you need to know

The ‘circular economy’ is one of the latest green catchphrases, but what exactly is it and is it achievable?

Purchasing a refurbished smartphone saves around 50kg of CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent) – making its contribution to climate change 87% lower than that of the equivalent, newly manufactured smartphone – and removes the need to extract 76.9 kg of raw materials.*

The programme will inspire Vodafone’s customers to hand in their old devices as part of a trade-in, for a donation to social causes, or to be recycled responsibly.  Starting from 22 November 2022, every phone collected during the programme will see £1 donated by Vodafone to WWF conservation projects across the world.

Nick Read, Vodafone Group Chief Executive, said: “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, 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 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.”

Sustainable choices

Vodafone’s three-year partnership with WWF will see strategic initiatives launched across Vodafone markets in Europe and Africa. These will include apps to help Vodafone customers make more sustainable choices, as well as projects that use mobile technology to help address conservation and sustainability challenges. 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.

Already in the UK, Vodafone’s customers can access circular services, such as a market-leading digital platform with trade-in options, plus insurance and repair services to help them keep their handsets for longer.

Vodafone launches new refurbished phone range helping price-conscious customers get the phone they want for less

Vodafone becomes the UK’s only major network to offer a two-year warranty on every Pay Monthly refurbished phone.

Vodafone also helps consumers and businesses give unwanted phones and tablets a second life through its Great British Tech Appeal; and its stores accept electronic waste, such as phones, tablets and accessories to be responsibly recycled.

Vodafone recently launched a new refurbished phone range following research** which found that 73% of respondents would now consider buying a refurbished phone to save money and 55% for environmental reasons. Vodafone youth brand VOXI has launched its own refurbished phone range today, with savings to be made across ‘Great’ and ‘Like New’ conditioned devices. Visit the VOXI website for more details.

Vodafone believes business success should not come at a cost to the environment and is committed to reducing the impact of the company’s activities. Vodafone’s digital networks and technologies are a key enabler in helping to address climate change by saving energy, using natural resources more efficiently and creating a more circular economy.

COP27: ‘Our environmental commitments remain firm despite global challenges’

As the world’s leaders meet in Egypt for COP27, the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, Vodafone's UK CEO Ahmed Essam reaffirms the company's goal to reach net zero carbon emissions for its own operations by 2027.

Vodafone will reach net zero for its UK operations by 2027, its business and network is powered by 100% renewable electricity and it has recently switched to SIM cards made from recycled plastic.

To find out more search Vodafone UK Planet.

Stay up-to-date with the latest news from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and signing up for News Centre website notifications.

– ends –

Note to editors

Click here for full Vodafone Group press release about the WWF partnership.

* Source: A lifecycle assessment study (Erwann Fangeat, ADEME, et al, Assessment of the environmental impact of a set of refurbished products – Final Report (2022)), which found that a refurbished phone used for two years creates 24.6kg CO2e less carbon emissions a year when compared to a new phone used for three years (according to the study results shown on page 64). Over the two-year period of use of the refurbished phone, this avoids around 50kg CO2e of carbon emissions. The study found that a refurbished phone has an 87% lower contribution to climate change (or ‘GWP’) compared to a new phone.  The study also found that buying and using a refurbished phone instead of a new phone requires the extraction of 76.9kg less raw materials (page 64).

**Consumer research was carried out 3-7 November by OnePoll; 2000 UK adults (nationally representative) were surveyed.

About WWF

WWF (Worldwide Fund for Nature) is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, active in nearly 100 countries. Its supporters – more than five million of them – are helping to restore nature and tackle the main causes of nature’s decline, particularly the food system and climate change.

The WWF is fighting to ensure a world with thriving habitats and species, and to change hearts and minds so it becomes unacceptable to overuse our planet’s resources.

WWF. For your world. For wildlife, for people, for nature.

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit:

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693


Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews


Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587