As new figures reveal UK businesses are holding onto almost 12 million unused mobile phones and tablets, Virgin Media O2 is boosting its O2 Recycle initiative, making it easier for companies to sustainably dispose of their unwanted devices.
The ‘O2 Recycle for Business’ service has been relaunched to help companies of all sizes trade in their old technology – where they can receive cash back, credit towards new devices, or donate funds to charity. Any company can use O2 Recycle for Business, regardless of their mobile provider.
O2 Recycle has processed more than 3.8 million business and consumer devices since its launch in 2009, and last year paid out more than £670,000 to businesses.
Devices are data wiped and 92% are either recycled or refurbished and resold as ‘like new’ products to customers – supporting the circular economy, with the remainder broken down for raw materials. None of the tech that goes through O2 Recycle ends up in a landfill.
Businesses baffled by how to go green
It comes as new research reveals UK businesses are bamboozled by how to recycle their old tech and want help to become more sustainable.
The study has found 7 in 10 (70%) companies would like to be ‘greener’ but just don’t know how to go about handling their electronic waste, resulting in organisations hoarding unused phones and laptops for a year, on average.
Furthermore, three-quarters (76%) of firms say they need to be more responsible with disposing of their old tech, and 8 in 10 (82%) organisations want a simple solution to help their business recycle their unwanted devices.
Five clicks to collection
With enhancements to the O2 Recycle for Business platform, organisations can now recycle their phones and tablets in five simple steps, registering multiple devices at once, and arranging a free courier collection to take the devices away.
The service also supports employees working remotely who have many unused devices stashed in drawers, garages or lofts, as businesses can send them a QR code so they can also post the items to O2 Recycle for free.
Businesses can use their credit to buy new devices via O2 or donate up to 100% of their cash back to Virgin Media O2’s charity partner, Good Things Foundation, to support digital inclusion projects across the UK.
O2 Recycle for Business also supports organisations to lower their Scope 3 supply chain carbon emissions by ensuring that devices are more likely to be given a second life.
The initiative forms part of Virgin Media O2’s sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, where the company is working to support consumers and businesses to carry out 10 million ‘circular actions’ by the end of 2025.
Jo Bertram, Managing Director at Virgin Media O2 Business, said: “O2 Recycle for Business provides companies with a simple way to remove unused devices cluttering their offices – and be rewarded for it.
“Open to businesses of all sizes whether a customer of ours or not, this initiative provides businesses with a responsible method to dispose of their e-waste, all while providing the trade-in value of the device or the opportunity to donate that to our charity partner, Good Things Foundation.”
Miranda Apps at GB Railfreight, said: “O2 Recycle has enabled our organisation to safely recycle our obsolete devices, minimising pollution and waste. This saves energy and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. The process has been easy to manage and is a cost-effective way to reutilise old equipment.”
Businesses can find out more about trading in their old devices through O2 Recycle for Business here.