A (green) helping hand
We have launched a Sustainable Communities programme with Co-operative Energy to help members save energy and alleviate fuel poverty. This builds on the Regional Community programme and uses community and school partnerships to deliver energy savings. Christine Fieldhouse reports.
Published 7 Jul 2017
Acknowledging how important ethics and the environment are to today’s consumers, Midcounties Co-op already provides green energy, locally sourced food and Fairtrade goods. But when it comes to their phones, members have had to hang up their ethical beliefs – until now.
The Phone Co-op, Britain’s only telecoms co-operative, has merged with Midcounties to offer an ethical choice for mobile, phone and broadband.
Chief Executive Nick Thompson says he is proud to be joining the Midcounties family: ‘So often I’ve seen businesses pay lip service to the values of democracy, equality and social responsibility, but Midcounties is one of those rare cases where they’re truly alive.’
Midcounties members get a five per cent dividend on The Phone Co-op products and services until July next year, and Nick plans to make The Phone Co-op ‘the default choice for all UK Co-operative members because we provide a great service, are easy to deal with and share the same values’. The company also makes sure users are always on the best tariff. ‘If we can save our customers money, we will,’ says Nick.
Where The Phone Co-op really rings the changes is by offering the world’s most ethical and environmentally responsible mobile. Fairphone is the first manufacturer to remove conflict minerals from war-torn countries from its smartphone and make a positive impact on how phones are made. The Fairphone 2 is easy to repair, extending the life of the phone, and is assembled under a contract that provides a worker-controlled welfare fund. ‘As the UK’s distributor,’ says Nick, ‘we are proud to be flying the flag for sustainable mobiles.’
If you can’t live without your iPhone, don’t worry – your iPhone can be refurbished to meet The Phone Co-op’s sustainability objectives. And as for the service itself, the difference is ethical. ‘We use the same circuits, networks and connections as everyone else,’ says Nick, ‘but we do it with a very different motivation and spirit.’
The Phone Co-op is offering a 5 per cent dividend on products and services until July 2019. Visit thephone.coop
The Society achieved the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development in 2015 and supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Working with members and Co-operative Energy, Midcounties will:
- Educate members about our Co-operative Energy business, our Co-operative, our Society.
- Raise awareness of eco obligation money and work with members to alleviate fuel poverty.
- Inspire the next generation through education and examples of best practice to live our Co-operative Values.
- Offer our communities energy-saving advice, products and services.
- Encourage members to join Co-op Energy.