The Running Commentary

Is this really an environmental issue?

nashuaMy wife has a mobile contract with Nashua Mobile, one of the leaders in terms of independent mobile operators. Her recent bill arrived in an envelope that invited her to receive her bill electronically and on her acceptance of this offer, they would donate R 10.00 to “Trees and Food for Africa”.

I thought that this was a reasonable offer until I decided to unpack the cost of the mailing that she received. The print costs (black only printing) for two sheets around R 0.24c (could be a little less), the envelope would be around R 0.14c, the cost to mail (at bulk rates) around R 1.84c (could be a little less) – brings you to a package cost of around R 2.22.

If my wife took up the offer the cost saving for Nashua for the duration of the 24 month contract would be R 53.28 (less the R 10.00 donation – R 43.28). I am not sure how many subscribers they have, but according to the Top 300 companies listing they have around 540 000 subscribers. This would mean that if all of this base took the deal for a 24 month contract that would save R 28 700 000.00 (less the R 10.00 donation per contract – R 23 371 000.00.

Now while the offer looks good in terms of cutting the environmental impact, the real kicker here is the revenue generation for the bottom line. If Nashua donated the full cost, then we would all agree that they are making an impact in terms of the environment.

I have only talked about Nashua Mobile here. What about Cell C, MTN, Vodacom and Virgin Mobile. Have they made similar offers?

We will take up the offer from Nashua and I will follow up whether they donate the money to Food and Trees for Africa. We are taking up to ensure that we try to help the environment.

Cell CcostsenvironmentMTNNashua mobileVirgin MobileVodacom

Mike • July 30, 2008

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