Most of the carbon reduction comes from not shipping phones with a manual
Sony Ericsson has launched two phones explicitly designed with a reduced environmental impact , as part of a programme to make all its phones greener.
The C901 is a green upgrade of the C902, a 5 megapixel Cybershot camera phone launched last year, available at the end of June, while a robust mass-market featurephone called Naite – formerly code-named “Ling” – will arrive by Christmas, suitable for developing markets, and for business users that do not need email or smartphone functions.
The C901 has a casing made with recycled plastic, and a much smaller box than its predecessors – because the company is now putting all the manuals and software on the phone, instead of on disks and paper in the box. These changes are enough to reduce the carbon footprint of the phone’s whole lifccyle, from 25kg of CO2 to 20kg of CO2, said head of corporate sustainability Mats Pellbäck-Scharp.
Similar reductions in packaging have enabled the company to give the Satio smartphone about half the carbon footprint of the iPhone, he said.
As a camera phone, the C901 has strong green credentials, said Pellbäck-Scharp: “Two one-dime disposable cameras have about the same carbon footprint as this phone,” he said. So using a phone for pictures reduces environmental damage, he added.
Waterborne paints are used in the phone and packaging to reduce the overall environmental impact, and the phone will come with a CO2 footprint application, though this seems more a of an interesting toy than a serious app. A built-in pedometer measures how many steps the user takes and calculates how much greenhouse gas would be produced if that distance was travelled in a car – but does this even if those steps are taken within a building.
“I think Sony Ericsson is showing a sensible trajectory,” said David Aeron-Thomas of green charity Forum for the Future, which advises manufacturers on green strategy.
Overall, packaging is the easiest place to reduce the environmental impact of a phone, as the industry has been working on the issue for some time.