The carbon footprint of a mobile phone call ?

Gosh - I read this with some surprise, A cup of tea or a 5 minute chat on the phone ? - I'm afraid I am rather in the habit of doing both and even at the same time.  Quite aware of the energy to make the brew but not at all clear that the phone was quite so carbon hungry.  And with so many phones in the world - Good news though 02 are on it.


A five minute phone call using the O2 network has the same carbon footprint of boiling water to make a cup of tea – according to Carbon Trust-verified data released by the operator today.

The analysis, which was performed by the operator and approved by the environmental organisation, calculated the greenhouse gas emissions embedded throughout the lifecycle of its voice and data services.
O2 said the results illustrate the company’s commitment to understanding the impact of its services as part of its three-year sustainability plan.

Head of environment at O2, Gareth Rice, said: “Our aim is to develop the UK’s most carbon-efficient network, putting our own operations under the microscope and looking for ways to reduce the footprint we leave on the world. By evaluating our impact in conjunction with the Carbon Trust we feel we are doing just that.”

Managing director of certification at the Carbon Trust, Darran Messem, added: “We congratulate O2 for becoming the first mobile network to have telecommunication service carbon footprints independently verified by the Carbon Trust.”

The analysis revealed that the carbon footprint of making a one minute voice call with O2 was 3.6g CO2e (the unit of measurement for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases emitted) and transferring one megabyte of data was 11g CO2e.

Sounds like we need to think about a switch -but can you get two for one cinema tickets ? - mmm