Vodafone highlights ethics drive with Fairphone partnership

November 1, 2019

Vodafone and Fairphone today announced a strategic partnership to offer the more ethical, reliable and sustainable Fairphone 3 to Vodafone retail customers in Europe.

The two telcos said it aims to serve a range of European markets including the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland by the end of 2019.

Vodafone and Fairphone will also collaborate on best practice and share knowledge on key industry sustainability issues including the circular economy, electronic waste and responsible sourcing.

Environmental impact  

This partnership with Fairphone aligns with Vodafone’s purpose to improve the lives of one billion people while halving its environmental impact by 2025. 

This commitment by Vodafone includes halving its carbon footprint and purchasing all electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and Vodafone has committed to reuse, resell or recycle 100% of its network waste and help customers extend the lives of the devices they already own.

“At Vodafone, we’re working hard to build a digital future that works for everyone and this strategic partnership between Vodafone and Fairphone brings together our expertise as Europe’s leading and largest converged technology communications company with the recognised expert in sustainable smartphones”, Vodafone Group Chief Commercial Operations & Strategy Officer Ahmed Essam said.

Fairphone CEO, Eva Gouwens said: “Fairphone is showing that there is a market for more ethical phones to inspire the rest of the industry to produce more ethically.  Working with a large operator such as Vodafone helps to bring sustainable electronics to the mainstream market and therefore this is one of the strongest signals we can send to the rest of the industry.”

Sustainable ethos  

Fairphone is working to inspire the electronics industry to produce more sustainably by creating scalable models that can be replicated and by showing that there is demand for more ethical electronics.

The new Fairphone 3 is the third-generation Fairphone smartphone and builds on the company’s ambitions for fairer, more sustainable electronics with the insights gained from creating its two previous devices.

Fairphone 3 is a durable Android smartphone based on a modular design that allows for different elements such as the screen, battery and camera to be repaired easily.  

This helps to extend the life of the device and thus minimises its environmental footprint. 

Fairphone actively encourages the re-use and repairs of its handsets, offering recycling options and invests in recycling programmes to buy back e-waste from landfills in Africa for safe recycling in Europe.

As an industry leader in responsible sourcing, Fairphone traces materials used in Fairphone 3 to their source and incorporates fairer, recycled and responsibly mined materials such as Fairtrade gold. 

The company also works with suppliers to establish better working conditions and better worker representation for people employed in the manufacturing industry.