Telenor Denmark has announced the expansion of its “Mobilbyt” trade-in partnership with GreenMind, a company specializing in the refurbishment and sale of used electronics. The collaboration enables customers to combine a Telenor subscription with a discount on a newly reconditioned phone. The objective of the partnership is to promote a more sustainable approach to mobile device consumption.
According to a study commissioned by Telenor in April 2023, 54% of Danes have replaced their mobile phones within the past two years. The partnership with GreenMind aims to address the low recycling rates for consumer electronics, as less than one fifth of these devices are currently recycled. Electronic waste is recognized as the fastest-growing waste stream globally by the United Nations, but, as Tina Hogsted Svanberg, CEO of GreenMind has pointed out, choosing a used smartphone over a new one can save an average of 60 kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Under this initiative, shoppers will receive a discount on a recycled phone at any of GreenMind’s thirteen Danish branches when they also purchase a Telenor mobile subscription. GreenMind’s recycling process ensures that the content of handsets is wiped before refurbishment and offers buyers a three-year warranty on their purchases.
The Telenor Denmark and GreenMind partnership is a byproduct of the continued trend that smartphones are lasting longer and the reduced differentiation between upgrade cycles. Older smartphones are holding more value and are more usable than ever. Globally, operators are providing more options for trade-in deals and there is increasing demand for used devices.
Beyond reinforcing this trend, the partnership is noteworthy for two reasons. First, it allows Telenor to position itself as an environmentally-friendly provider that offers customers incentives to purchase recycled devices. This approach allows the company to continue to accommodate customers who prefer new devices while also appealing to what may be a growing number of customers interested in sustainable alternatives. Even if only a relatively small number of Telenor users purchase recycled devices, the partnership enables the operator to highlight its work in its ads and branding.
Second, if the partnership is successful, it would signify a noteworthy shift in at least a portion of the mobile phone market. While there a secondary market for phones exists in developed economies, these have primarily been sold through more informal channels (e.g., resellers, auctions, and person-to-person). Traditionally, though, secondhand phones have traditionally been aimed at emerging markets. As Telenor is a major provider operating in a developed market, a thriving partnership with GreenMind going forward could indicate a growing acceptance of used phones even among less budget-conscious consumers. Overall, the outcomes of the program will provide insights into evolving consumer preferences and the demand for sustainable options in the mobile industry.