Airtel Now India 1st Telco To Switch To Recycled Plastic SIM Cards

  • Airtel switches to recycled PVC SIM cards – partners IDEMIA
  • The initiative will limit the generation of over 165 tonnes of virgin plastic leading to a reduction in CO2 equivalent of 690 tonnes in one year
Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), one of India’s leading telecommunications service providers, in partnership with IDEMIA Secure Transactions has announced that it has switched from virgin plastic to recycled PVC SIM cards. This is in line with the company’s commitment to encouraging the adoption of circular business practices. IDEMIA Secure Transactions, a division of the IDEMIA Group, is a leading provider of payment and connectivity solutions for financial institutions, mobile network operators and automotive manufacturers.

An industry first in India, Airtel is the only telecommunications service provider to switch to recycled plastic SIM cards. With this migration, the generation of over 165 tonnes of virgin plastic will be limited which will further reduce the generation of over 690 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in one year.

This migration is in line with Airtel’s continued commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and promoting circularity with supplier partners and other stakeholders with the aim of encouraging them to reduce waste, recycle and reuse products.

Pankaj Miglani, Director - Supply Chain, Bharti Airtel, said, “We are delighted to announce yet another first as we continue to lead the Indian telecom industry. As a brand we endeavour to align our efforts to adopt various sustainable measures and contribute significantly towards India’s ambition to achieve net zero. Our collaboration with Idemia underscores our shared commitment to contributing to a sustainable future.”

Rahul Tandon, Senior VP - Connectivity Services, India, IDEMIA Secure Transactions, said, “We are proud of our long-standing partnership with Airtel. We congratulate Airtel for taking the lead in reducing the carbon footprint and providing green solutions to their subscribers in India. I would also like to thank all our R&D teams for making such innovations possible.”

Airtel has committed to reducing absolute scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its operations by 50.2% by FY 2030-31 with FY 2020-21 as the base year. The company has also committed to reducing its absolute scope 3 GHG emissions by 42% over the same time frame. In line with this commitment, some of the key initiatives at Airtel include promoting energy efficiency, utilising open-access green energy and adopting renewable energy across operations, as well as building a climate resilient network, resource efficiency and waste management.

Carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2 equivalent is a metric used to compare the emissions from various GHGs on the basis of their global-warming potential, converted to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide.

About IDEMIA Group

IDEMIA Group unlocks simpler and safer ways to pay, connect, access, identify, travel and protect public places. With its long-standing expertise in biometrics and cryptography, IDEMIA develops technologies of excellence with an impactful, ethical, and socially responsible approach. Every day, IDEMIA secures billions of interactions in the physical and digital worlds. IDEMIA Group brings together three market-leading businesses that enable mission-critical solutions:
  • IDEMIA Secure Transactions is the leading technology provider who unlocks safer and easier ways to pay and connect.
  • IDEMIA Public Security is a leading global provider of biometric solutions that unlock convenient and secure travel, access, and protection.
  • IDEMIA Smart Identity leverages the power of cryptographic and biometric technologies to unlock a single trusted identity for all.
With a global team of nearly 15,000 employees, IDEMIA Group is trusted by over 600 governmental organizations and more than 2,400 enterprises in over 180 countries.


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