By Valid’s Team.
The World Environment Day was created in 1973 and has been celebrated since. It’s a date set to raise awareness globally about our environment and to urge everyone to act on critical issues that have been affecting our planet.
This date has been led by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for the past five decades. Throughout this time, millions of people and nations have taken part in this program to help drive change, motivate citizens to make changes, and encourage governments to work on environmental policies to address issues such as marine pollution, global warming, sustainable consumption, and wildlife crime.
We are already experiencing the effects of our actions on the environment. According to the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) the world is getting ‘measurably closer’ to 1.5-degree threshold and we are 93% closer to experiencing the warmest year on record between 2022-2026. Petteri Taalas, the WMO Secretary-General, also commented that “alongside that, our oceans will continue to become warmer and more acidic, sea ice and glaciers will continue to melt, sea level will continue to rise, and our weather will become more extreme. Arctic warming is disproportionately high and what happens in the Arctic affects all of us.”
The danger is alarming, and many nations are already experiencing those drastic changes. That’s why it’s so important to take care of our environment and do what we can to minimize our effects on the planet, both as a company and as citizens.
From the company perspective, there are many actions we can take when producing, building, and operating to promote a green conscience and help customers decrease their carbon footprint into the world.
At Valid, beyond the digital and mobile solutions and supporting companies to upgrade their offering to eUICC and iSE ecosystems, we have been working on sustainable offerings for the SIM card supply chain. Solutions as simple as the half-sized SIM, which can potentially reduce waste by 50%, when utilizing the space of the plastic inside the card, or offering greener solutions for the plastic materials, such as the compostable SIMs*, since they are fully compliant with telecommunication standards and can be either made out of recycled PVC, Bio PVC (PVC with additives that speed up the recyclability process), recycled ABS, H-ABS or other materials such as recycled PET or PETG according to specific requirements.
The industry has to be able to take care of the entire ecosystem around production. We have been working on a complete plastic-free packaging solution, without compromising the integrity and the security of the goods during transportation, while still complying with GSMA’s regulations, substituting plastic packaging for paper at all levels of the boxing process. This minimizes the usage of plastic that would almost immediately go to a landfill.
To make an impact on our environment that is already compromised, it’s important to take into consideration an environmental compensation program – to make a significant difference and bring real benefit to our environment and planet. That’s why Valid has partnered with PlasticBank, a social enterprise empowering a regenerative society. They build ethical recycling ecosystems in coastal communities and reprocess the materials for reintroduction into the global supply chain as Social Plastic™. Their collectors receive a premium for the materials they collect which helps them provide basic family necessities such as groceries, cooking fuel, school tuition and health insurance. Their certified blockchain platform secures the entire transaction and provides real-time data visualization – allowing for transparency, traceability, and rapid scalability. So, in order to fulfill our partnership, for every SIM card that our customers sell to their consumers, Valid will collect one plastic bottle from the environment per each smart card issued with the help of PlasticBank ecosystem.
Banking Card Industry
Another industry that has been working towards reducing their impact on the environment is financial institutions. Even though they have been focusing on a digital approach to offer their services and products, every year 3.5 billion new bank cards are still produced.
There have been efforts to fight the rise of plastic and offer more eco-friendly options. Valid has created its ECOFuse offering as an answer to that. Comprised of two material options – Recycled PVC (rPVC) and Recycled PETG (rPETG) – Valid’s ECOFuse payment cards allow financial institutions to deliver an environmentally-conscious option to their customers, while reinforcing their commitment to eco-centric products and practices across the supply chain.
In addition, it’s known that every 2 years about 15% of cards issued annually by banks are ready to be destroyed. Beatriz Martínez Gómez, from the Quality and Environment department at Valid Spain, explains that each type of card has a complexity to be recycled and how we do it here. “Cards with magnetic strips can be 100% recycled, but those with chips or contactless need to go through a chemical process of separating the materials. This reduces the percentage of recyclable raw material by up to 93% of the plastic part and 80% of the metallic part “.
Valid pays extra attention to the bank details contained in the cards. “The recycling of this material is subject to a series of market standards, such as the European Standard EN 15.713 of 2009, which requires the card to be transformed into 0.8mm particles. Valid uses even higher criteria and destroys its cards in particles below 0.5mm, according to specifications used by high military security agencies”, says Beatriz. This process is audited, certified and forwarded to the banks. A cycle of responsibility from start to finish.
With these actions, in partnership with our sustainability strategy inside our factories and offices to try to reduce the wastage, energy consumption and carbon footprint, Valid has been actively working to generate awareness inside the industry and trying to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible.
*product degradation per ASTM D3826 and ASTM D 5208-1 after 18 months under aerobe landfill conditions with average temperature of 20° C, and UV and oxygen availability.