GXO helps Virgin Media O2 cut single use plastic

 GXO Logistics, Inc., the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider, announced today that its industry-leading solutions have helped its long-term partner, Virgin Media O2, to significantly reduce plastic waste in its logistics operations. GXO has worked with the telecomms company to cut its consumption of single use plastics (SUP) from products sent to cable customers by almost 48 tonnes since 2021, further advancing both companies’ ESG achievements. 

“GXO and Virgin Media O2 are working together to create a supply chain that is as environmentally responsible as it is efficient and reliable.” said Meagan Fitzsimmons, GXO’s Chief Compliance and ESG Officer. “Companies have to reduce single use plastics from their supply chain to meet regulatory requirements and environmental goals. These results show what’s possible with a best in class partnership. Through great collaboration, open thinking, and innovation, we can help to significantly reduce and remove single use plastics from the supply chain. We’re really proud of our partnership with Virgin Media 02 and the work we have done to continuously remove plastic waste from our operation.” 

Plastic from packaging is one of the largest contributors to plastic waste, with government figures revealing the UK produced over 2.5 million tonnes of such waste in 2021. As part of its sustainability strategy, Virgin Media O2 is committing to achieve zero waste operations and products by the end of 2025, while ne of GXO’s ESG goals includes an 80% global landfill diversion rate by 2025. 

GXO enabled Virgin Media O2 to reduce SUP consumption by 94%, from 50.7 tonnes p/a in 2021 to 2.9 tonnes p/a in 2023 through collaboration and implementing various initiatives, including: 

  • Designing a plastic-free packaging solution for Virgin Media O2 cable customers returning equipment, resulting in a reduction of 22 tonnes of SUP p/a.  
  • Implementing a closed-loop process with the company’s repair operation, shipping returned products using pallet lids rather than pallet wraps. 
  • Introducing reusable pallet collars to replace shrink wrap to enable safe transportation.   
  • Replacing packaging materials with sustainable alternatives, such as substituting bubbled envelopes with reusable Jiffy Green bags and replacing parcel tape with a gummed paper solution. 
  • The removal of all SUP associated with TV and broadband products before they reach customers to eliminate general waste in customer homes. All removed SUP is recycled, reused or repurposed. 

Dana Haidan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Virgin Media O2, said: 

“As a leading UK business, we’re committed to minimising our impact on the planet. 

“Through our partnership with GXO, we are removing waste and single use plastic from products that are sent to customers and are using materials which can be easily recycled.  

“It forms part of our sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, where we’re working to become a zero-waste business by the end of 2025.”  

With a partnership spanning over two decades, GXO began managing Virgin Media O2’s end-to-end logistics operation in the U.K. and Ireland in 2009. GXO supports the company’s B2B operations, distributing equipment for Virgin Media O2’s engineers and technicians to a network of more than 50 regional distribution centres. In addition, GXO manages the company’s B2C operations, dispatching TV and broadband equipment, as well as handling reverse logistics, including returns and recycling.  

For more information on GXO’s commitment to ESG, please visit the company’s latest ESG report

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