Improving responsible best practices in telecoms
For over 20 years, Workz has established global operations in the mobile and IoT sectors and managed 14 billion mobile connections across 70 countries. Being a sustainable mobile IoT solutions provider, we recognise our responsibility towards climate change, and we are helping our customers become more sustainable.
Governments and regulatory bodies such as the United Nations and the GSMA are encouraging the telecoms sector to adopt more ecologically responsible operations as highlighted in the GSMA’s 2019 Mobile Industry Impact Report. The report encourages the industry to fully maximise its impact ahead of the 2030 deadline for delivering the UN sustainable development goals. Building on this, we have developed a sustainable strategy which sets out our company’s modus operandi in improving our environmental and social credentials to progress sustainability in telecoms.
To mitigate climate change, depletion of water and energy resources and to reduce nitrogen dioxide emissions from the company’s manufacturing, packaging and freight as well as to achieve compliance obligations, we have implemented an environmental management system that is certified to ISO 14001 standard.
Our Environmental Management System enables us to improve our ecological performance continually and contribute to the sustainability of the environment in several ways not limited to:
Circular economy: by reducing, recycling and reusing plastic, paper, packaging and other operational waste. We incorporate sustainable design into our products and over the past five years, have reduced the average size of customers’ SIM cards by 50% therefore, cutting plastic usage by half.
Sustainable transportation: by procuring and making use of fuel-efficient and low emission vehicles for freight. We also conduct regular emission tests to ensure the company’s nitrogen dioxide emissions meet the legal requirement. With freight, we always recommend road or sea over air which reduces transport costs by around 90% and carbon emissions by roughly 70%. Through advanced demand planning, we ensure the most efficient delivery schedules which avoid excessive or emergency freight journeys. Furthermore, we maximise the space used in these journeys with optimised packing design and materials to minimise their carbon footprint.
Responsible sourcing: by procuring materials from certified suppliers who are in compliance with the necessary laws governing environment and social management planning, human rights and child labour. We conduct audits on our key suppliers such as providers of SIM modules and printing inks to review their waste, energy and water management initiatives and quality management systems.
Air quality: by eliminating the use of hazardous and banned substances (such as artboards made from sodium dichromate and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD) in our cradle to grave operations.
Renewable energy: by planning to implement solar PV in our sites to achieve energy sufficiency and reduce the use of brown energy. Telecom operators account for around 3% of total global energy demand. Our move towards greener energy is to contribute to the decarbonisation of the sector’s energy consumption.
Sustainable materials: by substituting materials with more ecological friendly ones to improve the environment. Currently, around 4.5 billion SIM cards are produced worldwide, generating a significant amount of CO2 and plastic pollution, and we are on a mission to encourage the telecom market to reduce the use of unsustainable materials. To this end, we use recycled PVC for the SIM body, recycled printing ink and FSC-certified recycled paper for recharge card printing, recycled paper instead of plastic for packaging and collaterals as well as wooden pallets instead of wooden crates in transportation. We also use rechargeable batteries to reduce landfills.
Digitisation: by digitising our supply chain and replacing traditional physical activities with virtual processes, we are significantly reducing our carbon footprint. In addition, we are helping customers migrate their operations and offerings to digital alternatives such as eSIM.
Employee training and upskilling: by providing in-house and external training, performance reviews, coaching and mentorship programs for employees to enhance their management and leadership skills as well as professional development within Workz.
Communities: by engaging with the communities around us and supporting our partners to make them resilient and empowered to climate change. For example:
Vodafone Qatar: By optimising freight, we enabled an annual CO2 reduction of over 92%.
Virgin Mobile MEA: By implementing sustainable practices across SIM and scratch card operations, we are on target to achieve 100% elimination in one-time-use plastic and a 30-40% energy saving for packaging collaterals between 2016 to 2022. Furthermore, by introducing EcoSIM, Virgin became one of the first operators in the region to offer biodegradable SIM cards.
Sustainability in numbers
As a company embedded in global supply chains, we recognise the need to operate ethically in line with international standards to create positive social impacts in our world. In this vein, we promote international best practices not limited to:
Anti-corruption: by adopting a zero-tolerance policy to bribery and corruption.
Equal opportunities: by providing a level playing field for suppliers during procurement and tendering processes.
Data privacy: by maintaining the confidentiality and protection of personal data through technical and organisational security measures that comply with current security standards.
Have your say
“Sustainability is a continuous process. At Workz, we are innovating and working with our partners to improve the sustainable development of our products, services and supply chains. We invite feedback and suggestions from anyone wishing to collaborate with us in this journey – to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030”.
Tor Malmros, CEO, Workz Group
Should you have any comments or suggestions regarding Workz sustainable practices, please drop us a message by using the contact button below.