We’re all in this together: contributions for a greener mobile industry

By Frederic Moreira, Services Business Line Director, Mobile Operators Business Unit at IDEMIA

Read time: 5 minutes

In a world where environmental awareness is rapidly rising, companies and organizations in all sectors that share a sense of responsibility are taking action to conduct their business in a more sustainable manner. Mobile operators and their partners are no exception in this shift.
Frederic Moreira, Services Business Line Director, Mobile Operators Business Unit at IDEMIA

The effort towards sustainability is a collective one. It involves all types of economic players, but also their suppliers and customers, not to mention end-users who are increasingly favoring more eco-friendly products. Besides, it’s become clear by now to many corporations that promoting environmental and social responsibility is compatible with profitable business.

It’s no secret that mobile operators are crucial players in our digitized global economy, ensuring the development of new technologies and innovations. As the environmental impact of high tech and connectivity becomes both stronger and better understood, they are shifting towards more sustainable ways of connecting people by reducing their emissions, resource consumption and waste production.

Yes, the time is right for mobile operators to respond to new user expectations and increasing demands from governments and even investors by taking the initiative to offer products that are more environmentally sound.

Proud to be a natural partner for mobile sustainability

That being said, it isn’t always easy to figure out how to start implementing greener solutions. Mobile operators are looking for ways to stay ahead of changes such as constantly evolving regulations. Useful guidelines for all economic actors looking to conduct their activities in an eco-friendlier way are provided by the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

In this context, it’s important for mobile operators to implement a global sustainable approach that covers every aspect of their activities. In addition to reducing their emissions related to networks and equipment, they can go even further by reducing the waste and resource consumption caused by SIM cards.

IDEMIA, as part of the mobile ecosystem, is proud to play its part in this collective effort by offering more responsible solutions that can help mobile operators and their partners transition towards greener products while maintaining the highest security standards.

As a company, we are fully committed to environmental responsibility. IDEMIA has been a member of the UN Global Compact since 2006, pledging to conduct business respecting human rights and the environment. Consequently, we have certified 100% of our manufacturing following the ISO 14001 standard for environmental management. We are also a certified EcoVadis gold member thanks to our social, purchasing, environmental and fair business practices.

Because of all this, it’s only natural that we should act as an enabler for the green initiatives of mobile operators.

Reduced and re-used: new generation SIM cards

As such, we aim to contribute to increasing the sustainability of the mobile ecosystem in concrete ways: by helping operators produce SIM cards that are more environmentally responsible and by providing greener fulfilment solutions.

The general idea is simple: to be mindful of raw materials and their (re)use. How? By following the 3R methodology (Reuse, Reduce and Recycle) and applying three principles: eco-design, re-usability and resource reduction.

Practically speaking, the environmental impact of SIM cards can be significantly reduced by designing new card body formats and extending their lifetime, as well as by exploring recycled, bio-based and biodegradable solutions such as recycled PVC, biodegradable plastic and sustainably produced cardboard.

For example, it is perfectly feasible to divide by two or four the amount of plastic used for SIM cards, which also reduces the cost and impact of transportation. In effect, if you were to spread out on the ground the amount of plastic which has been saved since the launch of our HalfSIM solution in 2009, the surface obtained would be larger than 630 soccer stadiums – approximately 4.5 square kilometers.

Fulfilment solutions can go green too

A lot can also be done to make mobile operators’ SIM card fulfilment solutions more environmentally friendly. Tailoring cardboard kits around smaller card formats to optimize pallet loading, using wrapping and boxing materials that are cardboard-based and made of biodegradable plastic, and generally using sustainably sourced raw materials wherever possible are some examples.

Let’s take for example our Tiny Pack Raw Fibers: they are a great opportunity for mobile operators to make their green commitments visible, with their cardboard containing no bleach, glue nor varnish and printed with vegetable-based inks.

And of course, mobile operators looking to deploy an end-to-end eco-friendly offer can capitalize on the sustainable features of both SIM cards and fulfilment solutions. We call this “Smart Mix and Match” – for instance, associating a recycled PVC card body with a recyclable polypropylene wrapping.

Going the extra mile with transport analysis

Lastly, to go even further, mobile operators can resort to consulting services in order to deploy custom-designed green solutions for their SIM cards and fulfilment product ranges. This can for example include transport analysis, which can have a real impact on reducing their CO2 footprint.


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