TeleCoop is a cooperative telecom operator that has been offering a committed and efficient mobile subscription since 2020. TeleCoop defends the general interest and the ecological and social transition in the telecom sector and we defend the same values at iodé. We therefore naturally came to meet and it is today with pleasure that we discuss with Marion, co-founder of TeleCoop.
About Marion Graeffly
Marion Graeffly is co-founder of TeleCoop and is currently in charge of its development and outreach. After a first part of her career in the food industry where she was marketing and sales manager, she decided to put her skills at the service of projects that put ecological and social transition at the center of their action. She therefore joined the Associate On Purpose program, a career transition program to join the social and solidarity economy and find her best place in this environment, a promise of better living together.
In particular, she encounters the model of cooperatives which seem to her to be a strong model at the service of a fair distribution of wealth and power but also of an ability to better live and exchange from a collective point of view.
Her role today is to promote TeleCoop but also to stimulate and manage the main directions taken by the structure as General Manager of the cooperative.
Her guilty pleasure? The kitchen ! She loves spending hours there and testing new recipes!
1) How did you come up with the idea of founding Telecoop?
Our observation is simple: 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to digital technology and it could double by 2025. The telecom sector is doing nothing, or very little, to improve this while the telecom operators are the gateway to digital. The idea of developing with citizens a general interest telecom operator committed to these issues was therefore obvious. I even want to say that at present it is an obligation. TeleCoop is a cooperative that was created by citizens and for citizens, it is important to say.
We want everyone to be able to reclaim their digital uses. We want to offer more transparent, greener and more privacy-friendly telecom services. It is clear that environmental and social issues are not at the heart of the current economic model of telecoms… And we are making concrete proposals in this direction. If you want to know more, see our action booklet.
2) TeleCoop was founded as a SCIC (Cooperative Society of Collective Interest). What are the particularities of this status? Why this choice?
TeleCoop is a cooperative that belongs to its members and is organized on the principle of shared governance. This means that we share the decision-making power between all our members on the principle of one person is equal to one vote, especially during the General Meetings of the cooperative. These members represent all the different TeleCoop stakeholders.
I would add that 57% of our profits are necessarily reinvested in the company to develop it and strengthen our action on the subjects of ecological and social digital transition.
3) What are the specificities of a TeleCoop subscription? How is it committed and responsible?
These are questions that often come up about our subscriptions.
First, our subscribers are charged based on their actual mobile data usage. This allows everyone to become aware of their mobile data consumption and to ask themselves the right questions on how to adopt a more responsible use of digital technology. We really want our subscribers to refocus on their real needs and to be able to make decisions while being as well informed as possible about the ecological and social impacts of digital technology.
Then, we offer financial assistance for the repair of the mobile of our subscribers. Thus, we do not encourage overconsumption but rather to keep your mobile as long as possible. The best mobile is the one we already have.
Finally, we seek to invoice our subscribers at the right price with regard to the real costs of the cooperative and not according to a search for profit at all costs.
Outside of our offerings, we expose the nonsense of the telecom industry on environmental and social issues. Why push subscribers to consume ever more, to equip themselves with new mobiles ever more often when we know the environmental and societal impacts of these practices? It is now urgent to do things differently. And TeleCoop is playing its part in this change.
4) TeleCoop relies on Orange infrastructures. Do you have a specific customer data processing policy? Does Orange also have your users’ data? In other words, do you also tackle the issue of data protection in addition to climate protection?
TeleCoop is an independent company from Orange. Thus, Orange does not have the data that our customers entrust to us at the time of their subscription. In general, the question of our customers’ personal data is very important and we convey this message to our level. This is, for example, the reason why we co-founded the FairTEC collective to bring these subjects to bear with other European players. Because what will really make the difference is the ability of the legislator to take up these issues, particularly at European level.
In addition, we are committed to using Matomo to track activities on our website rather than the leading analytics company, Google Analytics. This means that visitors to our website are not individually tracked. In addition, we obviously respect the GDPR and deal with partners who are also subject to the GDPR.
TeleCoop defends the idea of adopting a more responsible use of digital technology and therefore also defends the protection of privacy. Remember, TeleCoop was created to allow everyone to reclaim their digital uses and to offer telecom services that are more transparent, more ecological and more respectful of privacy.
5) What future plans do you have that you can tell us and our readers about?
We are thinking about the idea of offering an Internet box to allow everyone to collect their subscriptions at TeleCoop and to favor TeleCoop Wifi over 4G in general! We will know more about the launch dates of this project by 2024! 🙂
6) And here is some space for everything you‘ve ever wanted to say or write 😉
I would like to add that we are part of the Licoornes collective. This collective aims to empower citizens to radically transform the economy by participating in the construction of a fully cooperative economic model. The collective is made up of several cooperatives such as Enercoop or La Nef which work in different but complementary sectors of activity (energy, banking, etc.).
Because cooperation is at the heart of our vision of society, we also regularly work with other partners… And today with iodé!
Thank you Marion and thanks to the team over at Telecoop for these insights. Let’s drive change together!