Beautiful business welcomes submissions from a range of contributors. Last week we had two students from Ca’Foscari University of Venice. This week we have a contribution from one of their fellow students Mumu Ayesha Sugandhi writing about eco friendly and sustainable Smartphones – devices that incorporate the best environmental and social practices and enable people to improve their lives.
Mumu Ayesha Sugandhi is a M.Sc. student at Ca’Foscari University of Venice. With more than 1 billion smartphone in use globally, one in every seven people worldwide own a handheld device that is as much a computer as it is a phone. It has more features than other mobile phones, such as GPS navigation or mobile computer functions. It has a greater environmental impact across the lifecycle, with higher energy requirements and more materials needed to produce them. But have we ever thought of Reducing its negative effect on our environment?
Currently when our worlds eco-system is at stake we must all work together to make our world sustainable by importing eco and sustainable ideas into every day products. Sustainability of Mobile phone means maximizing the positive, enabling effect of mobile Technology on people and planet, while minimizing the possible negative impact of the activities (Nokia). Now a day every Smartphone producer is concerned about this sustainability concept. Other than smartphone producers the mobile phone operators are also concerned about the sustainability of our environment. Mobile phone operator like AT&T and Vodafone has started a unique eco-rating that enables customers to compare the environmental and social impacts of different mobile phones So they can make an informed decision in choosing a more sustainable phone. Vodafone’s eco-rating is based on the analysis of environmental and social impacts ranging from 1 to 5, where 1 means less eco-friendly and 5 means highly eco-friendly device. Vodafone’s Eco-rating score for a specific device contains of two parts, life-cycle score and green design score.
Life cycle of mobile phones
Whereas life cycle score contains the analysis of raw materials used by the phone manufacturer, the
amount of energy and water used in the production, the distance travelled by the device, the design feature that help reduce the phone’s environmental impact and last but not the least replacement of individual components and the CO2 and other emissions created in the manufacturing process. Finally the International Organization for Standardization’s lifecycle assessment framework–ISO 14040:2006. Bureau VERITAS analyses and verifies the results. Green design score part is assessed by SKM Enviros, which is based on recycled materials used for the production and its environmental impact.
Based on Vodafone’s eco-rating the most sustainable devices are the Nokia (eco-rating 4.0), RIM blackberry (eco-rating-3.2), Samsung (Eco-rating-2.5) and HTC (Eco-rating-2.2).
AT&T ‘s Eco-rating is analyzed based on the energy efficiency, environmentally preferred materials, responsible end-of-life treatment and environmentally responsible manufacturing.
Other than mobile phone operators there are certain Smartphone applications like iViro, Ecocharge, Goodguide, Recyclebank, iRecycle, Footprint, Waterprint, Ecofootprint, TREEHUGGER,etc. That helps us make sustainable choices in the daily features of our lives. These apps enables ideas on energy saving alternatives, customized energy analysis with detailed overview of electricity, water and CO2 emission estimates, alarm on unnecessary energy usage, assessment of environmental, health and social performances, helps calculate the reward points from daily activities like water usage, recycling, energy efficiency and green product purchasing, provides info on recyclable products, helps tracking fuel usage and provides guide to reduce water consumption.
Smartphones can also be accessorized with ecofriendly products like iBamboo speaker, Ecoustik Wooden Dock, Solio Classic2 solar charger Battery, And logitech Solar keyboard to reduce its negative impact on the Environment.