With so many products and services available and constant marketing, it can be hard to choose suppliers. By using the ethical aspects of suppliers instead of price to assess them, this choice is made easier as well as improving our ethical impact. Voting with our money and supporting more ethical companies is a direct way to support change in terms of social and/or environmental issues. Here are some quick and easy switches I made to business suppliers; I prefer Coops to shareholder driven companies as they are not driven by pressure to provide profits to outside investors.
Broadband & landline – The Phone Coop
After using mainstream broadband providers and getting sick of their nonsensical billing, annoyingly ‘matey’ communications and awful customer service, I switched to The Phone Coop. There was a data cap when I first joined many years back, but that has been removed now. I’ve had two issues in around ten years of using the Phone Coop, both of which were resolved quickly after ringing them up (and getting straight through to people who know what they are doing). I use the Phone Coop for my landline redirect to my mobile, and home broadband. Speeds are good and downtime has been extremely rare.
They now plant trees via Ecologi too:
Every month Your Co-op Broadband will fund projects through our partner Ecologi to offset 50Kg of our climate positive broadband customers’ carbon footprint (that’s about 5% of the footprint of an average person in the UK). That continues for as long as you use our services, so a typical 24 month contract will see us offset 1.2 tonnes of CO2. We’ll also plant a tree each month for every customer which will contribute to future decarbonisation when the trees mature in 10-20 years time.
Mobile phones – EcoTalk
I use SIM only deals for my mobile phones so I don’t get stuck in expensive contracts, and recently moved from GiffGaff to EcoTalk. They are the same price but support the RSPB as part of the monthly cost. Switching was really easy and I barely noticed the changeover.
Ecotalk and RSPB have teamed up to create vital new habitats for Britain’s wildlife. We use the money from our customers’ bills to give land back to nature. We’ve got some of the lowest cost tariffs available, great coverage on the market-leading EE network, and you can bring your current phone number with you.
Banking – Coop
After finding out my bank was involved in financing torture equipment and other shady practices, I moved to the Coop bank for my business and personal accounts. Their online banking has been extremely primitive up until recently, but the recent app works well and the online access is much better since they sorted their charges out (ie started charging for accounts). I’m more than happy to pay to support development as they are one of the few banks with a clear ethical policy.
At The Co-operative Bank, we’ve championed sustainable banking for almost 30 years. For us, taking an ethical approach is just how we do things — by supporting local communities, treating our customers fairly and honestly, and paying people a living wage.
I’ve gone through some easy switches here that I’ve made to help Intention be more ethical. All of these moves were easy to carry out, and bring my support of providers in line with my values, instead of supporting the cheapest option. The cheapest providers usually cut corners in social and environmental areas to keep prices low and that’s at odds with what I’m trying to achieve with Intention.