Donating spare smart phones: A seamless action for businesses

Hubbub is calling upon companies to join us to cut electronic waste, reduce carbon emissions and help digitally isolated people get connected. Hubbub’s pioneering smartphone donation initiative Community Calling has already transformed the lives of 5,000 people, across 7 cities. We are now seeking business support to double the number of people supported and deliver environmental benefits.

Delivering immediate carbon reductions and supporting communities

The recent IPCC report declared that climate change is a code red for humanity. In light of this, and as we near the forthcoming COP26 conference being held in Glasgow this November, we know that many businesses are responding with long-term strategic commitments and striving to meet their sustainability goals.

These commitments can feel abstract for employees and customers. To bring more colour and relevance to their strategies, companies could also run short-term campaigns that deliver immediate carbon reductions, support communities and are easy to explain.

Hubbub’s Community Calling campaign redistributes surplus smartphones alongside a year of free data and digital skills training to people who are digitally isolated. It provides a quick, seamless action for businesses that delivers immediate social benefits, cuts e-waste and reduces carbon.

The impact so far

Through the phones donated so far, we have offset over 260 tonnes of CO2e, saved over 14 million gallons of water and transformed lives. We’ve seen refugees able to speak to relatives abroad; families download schoolwork; those facing homelessness able to apply for and secure new jobs; adults with learning difficulties able to continue their social activities over Zoom and the elderly connect with their families while shielding.

However, as we start to move forward from the pandemic, digital exclusion isn’t going to magically disappear. There are an estimated 7 million people in the UK who are digitally isolated and 28 million surplus phones going spare in homes and offices – we know there is still work to be done. That’s why we are calling on UK businesses to act now and become a part of Community Calling’s impact. 

The transformative impact of the campaign on the lives of thousands of people has been captured in this short video. As one recipient noted: "What to you might be a piece of old junk could make a massive difference to somebody else."

Businesses can support Community Calling in three simple ways:

1) Gift redundant business smartphones 

If your business has old company smartphones that are no longer in use, we can collect them for free and have them professionally data wiped by our tech partner Reconome. 

2) Provide a financial donation 

If you don’t have company phones to donate, financial donations will be invested in the purchasing of deadstock second-hand phones. 

3) Become a Community Calling partner 

If you would like to play an active role in Community Calling as we scale, we are onboarding new businesses to partner with us.

Your funding could cover: 

  • The processing and redistribution of donated phones (topped up with data courtesy of O2)
  • Project management 
  • Comms, design and PR 
  • Measurement and evaluation 

This would give your business the opportunity to shape the campaign, including having a say on where we run the project, who the beneficiaries are, and what support they are given. 

Tailored sustainability & social impact reporting

In exchange for your support, Hubbub can provide you with sustainability and social impact reporting - making it easier for organisations to integrate the impact of the campaign into wider reporting. This can be tailored to your business, depending on your goals. Examples include reporting on how much carbon and water you’ve saved, case studies of the real people that have benefited from your support, as well as custom-designed social media assets that show a snapshot of your impact. By offering your support, you will also become a part of a project supporting some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK. 

Get in touch

We know that businesses are wanting to dial up their sustainability commitments, and Community Calling can help you get there. Contact us at [email protected] to find out more about getting involved in the campaign.