olleh green phone

Koreans on average switch their phones approximately every 27 months which is about half of Japan’s rate at 46 months. The short cycle of owning an advanced phone causes many phones to sit idly at home. The frequent phone change brought unused phones to 23M. It is the largest size for a single product. Like cars that campaign to ride longer, the social culture for longer usage of cell phones is needed.

‘olleh green phone’ collects cell phones that are at least 1 year old through on/offline channels. A cell phone expert evaluates the used cell phone quality, purchases it, and makes it into a newly born cell phone through repair at the reproduction center.

The phone is packaged in an olleh green phone box and priced economical to customers that want second hand phones. In 2011 and 2012, olleh green phone reduced 1,614 tons of carbon.

‘olleh green phone’ presents that 1 disposed cell phone is not only used to recycle materials but also to expand donation culture to our neighbors.

Title: olleh green phone
Client: KT
Design Team: Integrated Marketing Communication Department: Johanna Ham, Mihye Song, Hyunji Kim
Category: Professional

Korea’s cell phone penetration is over 100% and 16M phones are sold each year. An abundance of unused phones are increasing with a low recycling rate causing contamination to the environment. KT was the leader in the telecommunication market by implementing the Green Phone Institution in Nov. 2011 to stop resource waste and to mass produce used cell phones. The used cell phones are utilized in rental phones, general sales, MVNO/prepaid sales, disposal sales.

One of Seoul Urban Mining projects, the unused cell phone donation project extracts precious metals like gold, silver, palladium, and tantalum from the cell phone, from which the resources and proceeds are given back to the Seoul city community and donation groups (Dream Together). The ‘olleh green phone’ platform goal connects distributors, financial institutions, and welfare organizations to bring cell phone waste to zero, which currently in 2,500 olleh POS, 601 banks, and government offices are executing the vision.

Reusable cell phones are repaired and cleaned by specialized engineers for longer usage. Phones that are loss or during A/S, free phones are rented out as part of customer care service.

The disposed cell phones are divided into 3 categories such as ① rental phone ② non-smartphone ③ smartphone.

By supplying second hand phones with the KT brand recognition, our customers can safely purchase the latest used smartphone at an economical cost.

olleh green phone reduces families’ telecommunication expenses by allowing consumers to afford the latest phones through the economical price offered. This project allows consumers to enjoy the latest phone by not having to break the buck. The soy ink package of olleh green phone ensures environmental-friendly values which our consumers pick up, and indirectly or directly change their behaviors to become more aware of the environment as a whole.


  1. Recycled phones benefits
    Carbon Dioxide that makes up 80% of greenhouse gas is the main cause of global warming. Reusing cell phones reduces carbon emissions to at least 30% compared to making a new cell phone.
    CO2 reduction in year 2011-12
    (Recycled phones * average cell phone’s carbon emission * carbon reduction rate from reuse)
    = 1M phones *10kg *0.3 = 3K ton; Profits made up $32K.
  2. Production cost reduction for corporate and savings for customers
    Encourage low-carbon green consumption to consumers by providing an economical cell phone price along with customer service which has led us to acquire new consumers to KT.
  3. 950K Job Creation
    The Green new deal has contributed to create new jobs for used equipment appraisers, green center engineers and green phone customer center etc.
  4. Receive Korea LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) Certification
    ‘olleh green phone’ has earned the LoHas certificate last year for environment friendliness, new social product and process. In the telecommunication sector (wired and wireless), KT was nominated for 2 consecutive years (’11 & ’12) by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Global Supersector Leader. LOHAS aims for a new lifestyle of people who cares about environment, social justice and sustainable economy, as well as their own physical and mental health which the Korea Standards Association certifies.
  5. IBK Industrial Bank and Green relay
    In May 2013, KT collaborated with IBK Industrial Bank to start ‘Green relay’ campaign which is to realize children community centers dream by collecting disposed cell phone. IBK Industrial Bank branches sets up disposed cell phone collection bins so that more customers can conveniently donate. The entire profits made are used for the social community group named ‘Dream Together’ (http://idreamtogether.org) at the end of the year. This campaign demonstrates that 1 disposed cell phone is not just used to recycle materials but also adds significant meaning to expand donation culture by assisting neglected neighbors.


Posted in 2013 Winners.

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