Sony has announced it will be taking part in O2’s Charger out of the Box sustainability scheme, selling its Sony Xperia SP handset without a charger from launch this month.
The Sony Xperia SP will only come with the USB to micro-USB cable needed to charge the phone, so customers can utilise an existing main adapter or charge their phone via a computer. If customers wish to buy the mains adaptor they can do at a discounted price from O2.
O2 launched the Charger out of the Box initiative in an attempt to reduce environmental waste caused by the unnecessary sale of chargers each year.
The UK network provider estimates that 24 million fewer chargers could be sold each year if the scheme is adopted industry-wide.
“As an industry, we have a duty to our customers to behave in a way that is environmentally responsible, making our business leaders in sustainability,” said Ronan Dunne, CEO of O2. “Taking chargers out of the box is a small change that has a huge environmental benefit – cutting down not just on waste, but also the environmental costs of transport, storage and component manufacture.”
Two HTC handsets launched as part of the scheme, including the flagship HTC One, have already shown it to be successful. When it launched in January, more than four out of five customers chose to buy the HTC One without the charger, opting to use existing equipment instead.
Nokia has also confirmed that its Nokia Lumia 925 will be sold without the mains adaptor via O2 when it launches, sold just with the micro-USB to USB cable.
“Sony backing our campaign is a major step towards making chargers out of the box the norm in the UK and I very much hope that we will see others joining us over the course of this year,” added Dunne.
O2 research suggests there are already 100 million mains adaptors lying unused in the UK that are either duplicates or from older handsets. This equates to 18,700 tonnes, the same weight as 1,000 London buses.
“There is a clear willingness amongst customers to listen to the environmental message, so from our perspective pilots like this are essential to reducing environmental waste,” said Marketing Director for North West Europe at Sony, Catherine Cherry. “Networks and handset manufacturers have to take a lead on this area and so we were eager to run a trial with one of our leading smartphones. If it works well, we will obviously consider rolling this out more widely.”
Next, read our pick of the best mobile phones of 2013.