Vodafone advertises “green” cell phone tariffs

Released on 21.10. 2021

  • Contribution to climate protection or «greenwashing»? Vodafone’s new “green” cell phone tariffs are the subject of controversial discussion. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow

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With its offers for corporate customers, Vodafone pays money to climate protection projects in order to become theoretically climate-neutral. Greenpeace speaks of “greenwashing” – and calls for the longer use of cell phones.

Düsseldorf (dpa) – In the battle for customer favor, Vodafone relies on mobile phone tariffs that are advertised as “green”.

For corporate customer tariffs in the “Red Business Prime »the company pays money to climate protection projects in order to become climate-neutral in purely mathematical terms. Such compensations are nothing new – companies present their work and products as particularly sustainable and hope to score points with their customers. The telecommunications industry is also on course for climate change. The three German network operators are already relying on green electricity for energy , the transport, the use and the recycling of the end devices are estimated to have been and will be released. A “Climate Partner” website should show how much carbon dioxide has been mathematically compensated for in the tariffs. Vodafone Germany boss Hannes Ametsreiter called the published tariffs a contribution to climate protection.

Vodafone competitors have no such tariffs

The two other German mobile network operators, Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica (O2), do not have such a tariff. The company E-Plus, which was later merged with Telefónica, offered 21 an eco-tariff in which money went to the nature conservation association (Nabu) for environmental projects and the estimated power consumption of the cell phone was mathematically “green”.

The Nabu tariff had not found “sufficient interest in the medium term” and was discontinued, says a Telefónica spokeswoman. “We were certainly a step ahead of our time with the tariff.” But we now know that it is not about making individual tariffs “green”. “It is more important to be as sustainable as possible across the entire spectrum of business activities, tariffs and devices.” So environmental protection is also popular in the broad market.

Greenpeace criticizes «Greenwashing»

The new climate-neutral tariffs from Vodafone do not come from environmentalists good at. That is “greenwashing” to calm the consumer conscience and ultimately as absurd as “refueling for climate protection”, says Viola Wohlgemuth from Greenpeace.

She threw companies into a linear and climate-damaging business model suggest that this has to be changed: cell phones should be used for longer. One should get away from the new production of devices and towards a real circular economy.

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