Sustainability Initiatives with Sandro Gauci, Senior Manager, Consumer Sales

04 January 2024

GO Green

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What can GO change to be more sustainable?

At end of 2022, we took a look at how we can be more eco-friendly. One of the biggest things we use at GO are sim cards.

Can you elaborate on the steps taken to make our sim card packaging more eco-friendly?

The sim cards themselves are mounted on a piece of plastic which traditionally was the size of a credit card. The sim card is obviously a lot smaller than a credit card so we took the opportunity to check with the supplier to see if it was possible to reduce the amount of packaging.

How did the supplier contribute to the initiative to reduce packaging waste?

The supplier proposed that we use a smaller piece of plastic to mount the sim cards on. This is essentially the basis behind the half sim. We have greatly reduced the amount of plastic previously used to mount sim cards and thus are saving that amount of waste from being generated. Previously, the dimensions for the boxes used to transport the sim cards were 200x70x11 centimetres, thus giving it a volume of 154,000 cubic centimetres. Bear in mind this only contained 200 sim cards. The new boxes will provide a stark contrast as the dimensions of the new boxes are 30x21x11 centimetres, thus giving it a volume of only 6,930 cubic centimetres. Notwithstanding the much smaller size of the new boxes, these boxes contain 2000 sim cards.

How does the reduction in packaging size translate to a visual difference in the amount of waste?

In more visual terms, one can most clearly see the difference in the amount of waste from packaging when looking at the amount of pallets used to transport the sim cards. Previously, to transport 30,000 sim cards, it would take 3 pallets. Now, only half a pallet will be used to transport the same amount of sim cards. This is impressive considering the amount of sim cards that we use.

What changes were made to the outer packaging of sim cards, and what impact does this have on waste reduction?

We also took the opportunity to remove the outer packaging from sim cards as they won’t be sold over the counter so therefore they do not require any single packaging. We have also reduced the amount of outer packaging from the sim cards. Given that they now weigh less, this reduces the amount of emissions that arise from transportation and importation.

How much weight in waste is being saved in this process?

Previously, 200 sim cards had a packaging weight of 2.6kg. The new packaging weight for the same number of sim cards is a mere 0.3kg

What about technological improvements?

We also have introduced an e-sim card which totally removed the physical sim card and thus removes the need for transportation and logistics of getting a physical sim card. We will implement a method for customers to buy a sim card via app and not through receiving an email.

How is the company addressing the use of bags, and what changes have been made to make them more sustainable?

We’ve been looking at ways and how we can reduce the amount of bags we use. We stopped ordering fully coloured bags and instead have opted to start using brown paper bags temporarily instead and use cloth bags in the future. This will be fully implemented at the start of next year. This will be especially beneficial when factoring in the amount of waste created and the ink used.

What steps have been taken to minimize paper usage, particularly in terms of receipts and chits?

We by default, send receipts by email and thus no longer stay printing out paper chits.

In what ways has refurbishing hardware contributed to waste reduction?

Since GO is a telecommunications company, naturally it goes through a number of modems and electronic equipment. These could become defective and faulty, whenever we can we do our best to refurbish the defective ones and breath in new life in it, GO has decided to invest into refurbishing these items. This refurbishment has not only decreased the amount of emissions produced but also the number of WEEE disposed bags used. So far in 2023, 303 tonnes of CO2 have been saved and currently only 18 WEEE bags have been disposed of in comparison to the 22 bags thrown away in 2022 and 37 bags thrown away in 2021. This is substantial considering each bag weighs 250 kilograms each, therefore GO has reduced 4 and a half tonnes of waste this year.

Our GO Green Initiative

At GO plc, we’re not just a telecommunications company, we’re a group of people who connect people all over Malta and Gozo. We strive to maintain this connectivity, not just digitally, but also physically. It’s important that we take care of our physical environment so that future generations can also enjoy the same connectivity. That’s why we’ve set up GO Green, an extension of GO primarily focusing on helping sustain and improve the environment whenever possible.

 

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This blog post was written by Benjamin Thomas Scerri – Sustainability Associate, GO Green.

Benjamin is a member of the GO Green team. His main focus is keeping track of new ways in which to make GO more sustainable wherever and whenever possible.