The climate footprint of your smartphone and how to reduce it

25 September 2019

Taking massive action on climate change is one of the world's key priorities for the upcoming 10 years. Sometimes it can be hard to find effective measures we can take as average organisations and customers on a daily basis. Besides eating less meat, taking public transportation and other common known climate savers, a less known measure is interestingly very effective: making your business smartphones (and other IT) waste-free.

The fact that we need to move to a circular economy to achieve climate goals was already known. However, the exact impact on climate for electronic devices hasn't been researched before. Until now.

In a smartphone's life cycle a few phases can be identified: mining, processing, production, usage and disposal. A new report by the European Environmental Bureau found that 72% of the greenhouse gas emissions associated to your phone are emitted during the non-use phase. So during mining, processing, production and disposal. The full lifecycle of Europe’s smartphones is responsible for 14 million tonnes of emissions (CO2eq) each year, which is more than the carbon budget of Latvia in 2017. These high figures are due to the vast amounts of energy and resources involved in producing and distributing new products as well as disposing of old ones. So there is a huge potential for reducing your companies' carbon footprint relating to smartphone use by taking a simple step: making your phone waste-free.

It works like this: For every new phone you buy for your employees, we collect and responsibly recycle a scrap phone. That way you prevent emissions from mining and processing raw metals from all over the world as we use the metals that are already above the ground and easy to recycle. Next to preventing the need for mining, recycling is far more efficient. Recycling 1 ton of e-waste contains around 40 times more grams of gold compared to mining 1 ton of gold ore. 

Our 'One for One' solution is simple, effective and easily added to your existing contracts. If you don't have reuse contracts already in place, or want to take it a step further, we can also take care of your full green procurement and re-use wishes together with our partners.

Get started on circularity or read more about our One for One solution.

More information about the report of The European Environmental Bureau click here.