Orange Belgium commits to a sustainable smartphone market
2 min read

Orange Belgium commits to a sustainable smartphone market

Orange Belgium is committed to act as a responsible operator and to promote the most sustainable practices. It therefore decided to launch the Eco Rating, a label offering key information to customers on the sustainability score of devices to help them make educated choices. Orange Belgium will also launch a brand-new program to federate its initiatives: Re, for Repair, Refurbish, Recycle and Return (also known as the highly successful BuyBack program).

The Eco Rating, which Orange Belgium will progressively introduce in its communications towards the market, will help consumers identify and compare the most sustainable mobile phones and encourage suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of their devices. The Eco Rating initiative has been created jointly by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, Telia Company and Vodafone to provide consistent, accurate information at retail on the environmental impact of producing, using, transporting, and disposing of smartphones and feature phones. Orange Belgium is the first operator to launch it in Belgium.

Following a detailed assessment, each mobile phone handset is given an overall Eco Rating score out of a maximum of 100 to signal the environmental performance of the device across its entire life cycle. The Eco Rating label will also highlight five key aspects of mobile device sustainability, providing additional information about durability, repairability, recyclability, climate efficiency and resource efficiency.

Repair – Refurbish – Recycle - Return

To unify all its initiatives, Orange Belgium also launches a global program: Re, which is focused on 4 pillars:

  • Repair: every Orange Belgium shop offers a reparation service to help customers keep their device longer. Battery problems, broken screens, Orange Belgium repairs customers’ phone and extend its life.
  • Refurbish: the operator offers a second life to devices by the sale of refurbished smartphones. Choosing a refurbished mobile phone is to limit its environmental impact while acquiring a like new at a lower cost. One refurbished mobile phone = 30 kg of CO2 avoided.
  • Recycling: non-reusable mobile phones are recycled and their metals recovered. Orange undertakes to erase personal data before recycling a customer’s mobile phone.
  • Return (formerly known as the BuyBack program): a program which allows customers to bring their old devices to an Orange shop and be offered a voucher between 2€ and 500€ based on the residual value of the device. In 60% of the cases, the devices are re-used or refurbished while the remaining 40% are being recycled.

The collection of old devices increased by almost 200% in 2021

In 2021, thanks to an increased communication on the program, Orange Belgium collected more than 22.000 devices in the retail market, almost three times more than in 2020.

For each device that lands in Orange’s BuyBack program, Orange Belgium gives 2 euros to the environmental protection program Natagora/Natuurpunt. In 2021 more than 2ha of trees were planted.

Isabelle Vanden Eede, Chief Communication, Brand and CSR Officer of Orange Belgium: “Our commitment to sustainability is not a hollow statement. Our ambition is to give our customers the possibility to make educated choices when it comes to the devices they buy and their impact on the environment. This is even more impactful when you consider the fact that this initiative is being deployed by the operators in more than 20 countries. This, combined with our new umbrella program Re which promotes the most sustainable practices on the smartphone market, is a major proof of how an operator can actually make a difference.”

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