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Should agents ditch work mobiles to reduce carbon emissions?

A mobile phone may be a decent perk for agents and seen as essential for communicating while out on the road.

But research claims that giving users their own work phone, often an additional to their own personal device, could be causing unnecessary environmental damage.

Beyond the manufacture of a mobile phone, there are also carbon emissions involved in providing the infrastructure to let users make calls, take photos or stream on their device.


Research by YourBusinessNumber claims the average mobile user is thought to produce 69kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year through just over three hours (195 minutes) of mobile phone usage per day. 

For those of us who are stuck to our phones for as much as 10 hours per day, this climbs to 86kg of CO2e per year. 

It’s estimated that 38% of UK workers are provided with a second mobile handset in addition to their own personal mobile phone. 

With 29.6m of us currently in employment, this equates to almost 11.3m of us who are carrying an additional handset for work purposes. 

Based on the average daily use of just over three hours, this means that the 11.3m people using an additional mobile handset for work are producing 776,112 tons of CO2e per year, according to the research.

This equates to 470,371 flights between London and New York, the research claims.

George Lineker, co-founder of YourBusinessNumber, argues that ditching the second device could be better for the environment and reduce the costs for firms as they wouldn’t have to fund handsets for staff.

He said: “The dilemma of a second handset is a tricky one for the nation’s business to tackle.

“On the one hand, clear separation between our personal and professional lives is essential in ensuring self care and avoiding burn out. 

“There’s also the issues surrounding GDPR compliance when communicating via personal handsets, as well as the complications that may arise when an employee leaves, taking a wealth of contacts and internal business information within them. 

“On the other hand, there is a rather monumental cost involved and with more companies also putting a greater emphasis on how they impact the environment, the provision of a second handset and the negative impact this has is a step in the wrong direction in this respect.”

Lineker added that technology can help bridge the gap, allowing businesses to reduce their carbon footprint and their comms spend, without compromising their employees' welfare, or their internal or third party information. 

He added: “Today there are a wealth of platforms that can provide a legitimate method of corporate communication without the need of a second handset. 

“This can come in the form of an external resource to help manage inbound call enquiries or a smartphone app that allows an ongoing, more personal level of communication, with the ability to switch off when the working day is done.”

Poll: Should agents ditch work mobiles to reduce carbon emissions?


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    Really? I mean, Really? This is "News"....??? You know the best way to sort this problem is to pay staff sufficient salaries that they don't mind using their own mobile (Unlimited calls, texts, and data plans). Want a separate number for work and social? Electronic second sims..... Easy. Am I missing something?

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