GXO: Helping Virgin Media O2 cut down on Single-Use Plastics

Thanks to GXO, Virgin Media O2 has cut its consumption of single-use plastics (SUP) from products sent to cable customers by almost 48 tonnes since 2021

As the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider, GXO is well accustomed to partnering with the world’s leading blue-chip companies to solve complex logistical challenges.

The firm is able to do this at scale and at speed using a host of technologically-advanced, industry-leading supply chain and e-commerce solutions.

One such beneficiary is long-term partner Virgin Media O2, which has seen the plastic waste in its logistics operations significantly reduced by GXO.

The telecommunications giant has 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.

Creating an environmentally responsible supply chain

With a partnership spanning more than two decades, GXO began managing Virgin Media O2’s end-to-end logistics operation in the UK and Ireland back 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. 

What’s more, GXO manages the company’s B2C operations, dispatching TV and broadband equipment, as well as handling reverse logistics, including returns and recycling. 

“GXO and Virgin Media O2 are working together to create a supply chain that is as environmentally responsible as it is efficient and reliable,” explains Meagan Fitzsimmons, Chief Compliance and ESG Officer at GXO. 

Meagan Fitzsimmons, Chief Compliance and ESG Officer at GXO

“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 O2 and the work we’ve done to continuously remove plastic waste from our operation.” 

Reducing single-use plastic consumption

Plastic from packaging is known to be one of the largest contributors to plastic waste.

As part of its sustainability strategy, Virgin Media O2 has committed to achieving zero waste operations and products by the end of 2025.

Meanwhile, one of GXO’s ESG goals includes an 80% global landfill diversion rate by 2025. 

GXO is the world’s largest pure-play contract logistics provider. Picture: GXO

GXO has enabled Virgin Media O2 to reduce its SUP consumption by an astonishing 94%, from 50.7 tonnes per annum in 2021 to 2.9 tonnes per annum (p/a) in 2023.

This was achieved through general collaboration and the implementation of 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. 
  • 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. 

“As a leading business, we’re committed to minimising our impact on the planet,” adds Dana Haidan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Virgin Media O2.

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

“This 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.”

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