lefttop<br /> Trek Telecom Project 2009<br />1490980278130<br />Technical report :<br />18243551303020-280670521970The environmental impact of the cellphone<br />Star Trek team: <br />Ariane Dubedout, Cécile Sati, Maxime Salvaing de Boissieu, Florent Coucke, Michel Kodobetti, Samer Hamzé<br />Tutors: <br />Éric Cousin, Gérard Madec, Sian Rowlands<br />Version 1.212th June 2009<br />ABSTRACT<br />Two teams of 6 students from Telecom Bretagne were given the opportunity to discover more about the job of an engineer whilst meeting representatives from leading companies in several European countries. Our team, called Star Trek, chose to study the environmental impact of cell phones. Indeed, the expansion of the telecoms field has brought about large environmental problems, especially concerning the huge amount of electronic waste. Selected by a jury of lecturers in our Telecommunication College in November 2008, our team divided the project into three parts: the preparation of the journey, the trek itself during the month of April, and finally the analysis of the information collected. <br />An important part of our preliminaries was to contact the companies we wanted to visit, on so that we could decide our route. We also had to prepare the logistics of the project: the reservation of transport tickets and youth hostels and fund management. So that the other students and the outside world could follow our project, step by step, we set up a blog where we reported all meetings and events. After the journey, we focused on analyzing and synthesizing all the information collected, so that we could present it this document.<br />Acknowledgement<br />We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have contributed in some way to this project particularly Mr. Gourvennec and Mrs Mouchot who initiated it.Our thanks also go to our tutors, Mr. Eric Cousin, Mr. Gérard Madec and Mrs. Sian Rowlands who supervised and mentored our work. We thank them for their attention, and for their time; their advice was really useful and appreciated.We also thank Mr. Aymeric Poulain Maubant, Mr. Hervé Rétif and all the other members of staff from Télécom Bretagne linked to this project for their support and their encouragement during our journey.<br />Finally, we would like to thank all the people who accepted to meet us during our journey, Mrs Helena Castrèn from Nokia, Mr Daniel Paska from Sony Ericsson, Mrs Madalina Caprusu and Mr Thorsten Brunzema from the European Commission, the VNL company, Mr Mats Nilson from the KTH University, Mr Martin-Blanc, Miss Malika Mourot and Mr Barba from Orange, Mr Filip Pelgrims from Ello Mobile.<br />Table of contents TOC o "
h z u ABSTRACT PAGEREF _Toc232609104 h 2Table of figures PAGEREF _Toc232609105 h 7Introduction PAGEREF _Toc232609106 h 10I.Market research PAGEREF _Toc232609107 h 12I.1.The operator's marketing approach PAGEREF _Toc232609108 h 12I.1.2Detection of a market opportunity PAGEREF _Toc232609109 h 12I.1.2Setting up of a project group PAGEREF _Toc232609110 h 13I.1.3Raising the consumer’s awareness PAGEREF _Toc232609111 h 13I.1.4.The initiatives taken PAGEREF _Toc232609112 h 14I.2The manufacturers’ marketing approach PAGEREF _Toc232609113 h 15I.2.1What are the manufacturers' motivations? PAGEREF _Toc232609114 h 15I.2.2Communication PAGEREF _Toc232609115 h 16I.2.3Marketing strategies PAGEREF _Toc232609116 h 17II.The European legislation about the treatment of cell phones PAGEREF _Toc232609117 h 20II.1The WEEE directive PAGEREF _Toc232609118 h 20II.2The RoHS directive PAGEREF _Toc232609119 h 21II.3What is next? PAGEREF _Toc232609120 h 21III.Eco-conception of cell phones PAGEREF _Toc232609121 h 22III.1Environmental strategies PAGEREF _Toc232609122 h 22III.2Substance control PAGEREF _Toc232609123 h 23III.2.1Organizations PAGEREF _Toc232609124 h 23III.2.2The material declaration PAGEREF _Toc232609125 h 23III.2.3. The list of banned and restricted substances PAGEREF _Toc232609126 h 24III.2.4. The supplier requirements document PAGEREF _Toc232609127 h 26III.2.5.Banned substances PAGEREF _Toc232609128 h 26III.2.6.Material choices and the future PAGEREF _Toc232609129 h 26III.3 greener packaging PAGEREF _Toc232609130 h 27III.4An efficient charger PAGEREF _Toc232609131 h 27IV.Telecommunication networks and sustainability. PAGEREF _Toc232609132 h 29IV.1The network of developed countries as it is today PAGEREF _Toc232609133 h 29IV.2.Problems faced and solutions proposed by VNL PAGEREF _Toc232609134 h 30IV.2.1The obstacles PAGEREF _Toc232609135 h 30IV.2.2Technical solution proposed by VNL PAGEREF _Toc232609136 h 31IV.2.3.Microtelecom business model PAGEREF _Toc232609137 h 33IV.2.4. A possible way to reinvent the networks of today? PAGEREF _Toc232609138 h 34VUse phase PAGEREF _Toc232609139 h 35V.1Energy consumption of the use phase PAGEREF _Toc232609140 h 35V.1.1Policy tools for energy consumption PAGEREF _Toc232609141 h 35V.1.2.Ways to improve chargers PAGEREF _Toc232609142 h 35V.1.3Other ways to reduce energy consumption PAGEREF _Toc232609143 h 39V.2.How can the use-phase be greener? PAGEREF _Toc232609144 h 40V.2.1Phone Software and services. PAGEREF _Toc232609145 h 40V.2.2.Educating consumers about sustainable behaviour PAGEREF _Toc232609146 h 41V.2.3.An indirect solution: the case of one particular operator PAGEREF _Toc232609147 h 42VI.The end of life of a cell phone. PAGEREF _Toc232609148 h 44VI.1.Disposal PAGEREF _Toc232609149 h 44VI.1.1Environmental impact of a mobile thrown in the bin PAGEREF _Toc232609150 h 44VI.1.2.The real challenge : the take-back PAGEREF _Toc232609151 h 45VI.1.3.Recycling or Reuse ? PAGEREF _Toc232609152 h 47VI.2.Recycling PAGEREF _Toc232609153 h 47VI.3.Reuse PAGEREF _Toc232609154 h 48Conclusion PAGEREF _Toc232609155 h 50Bibliography PAGEREF _Toc232609156 h 52<br />Table of figures<br />Figure 1: Global environment concerns<br />Figure 2 The Evolve (Nokia device)<br />Figure 3 Morph: the new concept-phone from Nokia<br />Figure 4:A Greenheart phone from Sony Ericsson<br />Figure 5:Evolution of the Nokia Substance List<br />Figure 6:A solar charger from VNL<br />Figure 7:An adaptator for the solar charger<br />Figure 8:Diagram of a present day network<br />Figure 9:Model of a new network in India<br />Figure 10:Other elements of the network<br />Figure 11:Origin of the ecological print<br />Figure 12:No-load consumption chart from Nokia<br />Figure 13:Nokia High Efficiency charger AC-8 with its label<br />Figure 14:Advice from Nokia<br />Figure 15:Life cycle of a cell phone component.<br />Figure 16:Content of a Nokia Mobile<br />Figure 17:Where are all the phones? source Nokia<br />Figure 18:The French collecting system (Source: CCIP)<br />Introduction<br />Trek Telecom was created in 2007 is therefore a very recent kind of project. This year, two teams were selected to study a topic linked to sustainable development. Our team, called Star Trek, chose the issue of the environmental impact of cell phones. Our aim was not only to evaluate the problems which can arise from recycling handsets, but also to understand to what extent the entire cell phone industry can affect the environment. <br />Thanks to a three-week journey through Europe, from Helsinki to Paris, passing by Stockholm, and Berlin, we visited different kinds of companies, universities and public administrations linked to our topic of study. We realized that our topic is a burning issue, and that the micro-world of environmental policy about cell phones is increasingly becoming one of the most important strategic policies of different companies. In this final technical report, we have centralized all the information that we managed to collect.<br />To better understand all the problems linked to the environmental impact of cell phones, we have used the approach “life cycle” of a cell phone. Indeed, the environment is taken into account for the design, the production, the distribution, the using and the end-of-life of a cell. At each step, we tried to identify what the current environmental issues are and what kind of solutions can be found. First of all, we are going to look at the motivations of a company entering the market of Green IT.<br />I.Market research<br />What has to be remembered is that a company's first aim is making money. Indeed, the first question that arises, even before considering taking any initiative, is: “is this going to be of any interest to the consumer?”. This is why a marketing approach of sustainable development is necessary for a company.<br />I.1.The operator's marketing approach<br />An operator has two objectives: winning a share of the market, and brand loyalty. Mrs. Malika Mourot, in charge of Orange's customer marketing division, explained to us her marketing job, as regards the environment.<br />I.1.2Detection of a market opportunity<br />The first step is to launch a comprehensive study of the customer's ecological motivations. Its aim is to determine whether the project under scrutiny, or in our case the possible market opportunity, is profitable or not. The company has to be convinced to invest in that project. It will not provide funds for it if it hasn't been proved profit-making.<br />To that purpose, Orange looked at all the customer studies available on the market to do with telecommunications and mass consumption, as well as socio-demographic studies. After comparing these results, Orange came to the conclusion that concern for the environment in developed countries was increasing: between 72% and 95% of the population claims to feel concerned about the future of the planet. There is therefore undeniably a genuine concern. But are consumers willing to pay more? To answer that question, Orange looked at the way people have changed their living habits in a “greener” way: the sorting of waste, environmentally-friendly products... It shows that people want change. <br />Orange then looked at behavioral studies: What prevents people from buying green phones? The answers were clear: the price, higher than usual for greener devices, is the main reason, but there are others, such as the difficulty to access green products when it comes to mass consumption, or the unintelligibility of the language (labels...), and lastly, the consumer hates to feel fooled by some companies’ green-washing (this term refers to companies that are communicating a lot about their green policy, though their actions do not live up to that level). They demand honesty from the operators.<br />This phase aims to determine whether there is business opportunity or not. Mrs. Mourot conducted a comprehensive study for Orange with the customers' expectations, the competitors' policies, and a collection of good ideas in the telecommunication field. She then put together a file that was presented to management committees. It explains why and how “green” devices can be an economic opportunity. <br />In fact, the Research & Development division has been working on eco-design for a few years: energy savings, the recycling of devices (components easy to recycle and less polluting). However, once the company decides to invest in a green policy, a marketing approach is added, with a reflection on possible commercial offers (material offers, or, more likely, tariff reductions).<br />I.1.2Setting up of a project group<br />It was Miss Mourot’s responsibility to decide who should be a member of her group, and what they would work on. Here, the approach of the project group was as follows:<br />1 -collecting information about the consumer’s expectations, and good ideas from competitors in other sectors.<br />2 -brainstorming: finding their own ideas, so they can be the first to implement them.<br />3 -coming up with projects of commercial offers<br />4 -using communication briefs to publicize the actions of Orange, in language understandable and accessible to the client.<br />Here are some examples of offers. Some operators in Europe have a Sim Only offer, which sells only the sim card (the consumer keeps his device). Orange has developed an offer that encourages the customer to keep his phone, in order to limit the proliferation of cell phones. Indeed, the market often encourages consumers to frequently change their cells to have the latest technology, although in reality it is not necessary because they are satisfied with their current phone. Orange's offer is that in the renewal of a contract with them, they provide the customer with a 40€ check if he/she does not change device.<br />Moreover, the operator has to be relatively honest and not deny that this kind of marketing campaign will enable him to make money. Orange may not have been sufficiently clear about their policy and their motivations. For example, Le Point and Le Monde have denounced this offer; Les Echos also wrote an article denouncing the e-mail bill: the apparently green approach (defending the planet) actually enables Orange to achieve huge economies (including paper but also postage...). The consumer must not have the impression of being fooled.<br />The consumers need information which can assist them when making environmentally rational decisions. For most consumers, environmental factors are not yet the most important priority, when purchasing a product. Any information therefore provided would need to be clear, easily understandable and accessible.<br />I.1.3Raising the consumers’ awareness<br />The operator has to communicate what has been done in terms of environmental protection (since it is obviously a major concern for the client). But he also has to make the consumers aware of green issues, and to encourage customers to behave in a more environmentally-friendly manner (by commercial offers for example).<br />The operator educates the customer regarding environmental performances of cell phones, and tries to raise the awareness of companies as well: at the end of 2007, Orange launched a campaign which targets companies. It includes the CO2 saving tool (http://www.orange-business.com/green ), a “free utility to calculate and evaluate how a company can reduce its carbon footprint through the use of collaborative technologies”.<br />The operator should then encourage the customers to behave in a more environmentally-friendly manner, because the consumer's behavior has a significant influence on the environmental impacts of the product during its life cycle. Consumers can significantly reduce the environmental impacts by making an environmentally-sound decision when purchasing a product, by using products efficiently and by disposing the products at the end of their in-use life at proper collection centers.<br />These three aspects of communication (the initiatives, the education, and the inducement to behave greener) are beneficial to the operator: the operator enjoys an active and comitted public image, the consumer feels more and more concerned by environmental issues, and is more likely to spend more for a greener phone. Lastly, customers are encouraged to behave greener, which includes bringing back old devices (and this is highly lucrative for an operator).<br />I.1.4.The initiatives taken<br />Orange's initiatives are more or less developed according to different market segments. Orange is composed of 2 departments: an internet / phone department and a cell phone department. In each branch, Orange has launched complex and long initiatives, but has also launched "
initiatives, easy to implement and with quick short-term effects. It includes packaging reductions and the promotion of environmentally-friendly suppliers.<br />For example, in the Internet industry, Orange has a close partnership with the manufacturer of their LiveBox; this enables them to now have not only technical requirements (number of ports...) but also ecological ones (energy savings and materials).<br />In the cell phone industry, suppliers have multiple distribution channels, so the partnership is more distant. Thus, Orange developed its “eco-labeling”: all suppliers receive a questionnaire for assessing their equipment's environmental performances. Then, in partnership with WWF (to ensure a degree of independence), grades are given according to five environmental criteria:<br />1) "
measures the amount of gas emitted during the main stages of the product’s life cycle: manufacture, transport, and use.<br />2) “Energy efficiency"
evaluates the energy consumption during the use of the product and the mechanisms to reduce it.<br />3) “Preservation of resources"
reflects the efforts made to limit the share of non-renewable materials from an environmental, economic or social point of view, such as gold or tantalum (coltan) in the composition of a product. <br />4)“Restriction of hazardous substances "
is designed to highlight products containing certain chemical compounds which, in poor conditions of use or recycling, could present a risk to humans or the environment.<br />5)"
measures the contribution of the terminal and its packaging to a limited production of waste. It takes into consideration the composition, life expectancy, reparability and recyclability of the product.<br />This work should lead to a labeling of “green phones” in Orange shops (a logo pasted on the handsets for example), which would guide the client. Further information about this work can be seen in the press release from WWF, at the following address:<br />http://www.wwf.fr/salle-de-presse/partenariats-wwf/orange-avec-le-soutien-du-wwf-france-met-en-place-l-affichage-ecologique-pour-les-telephones-fixes-et-mobiles<br />I.2The manufacturers’ marketing approach<br />I.2.1What are the manufacturers' motivations?<br />Several players are encouraging manufacturers such as Nokia or Sony Ericsson to adopt an effective environmental policy: <br />Figure 1: Global environment concerns<br />A manufacturer's client is the operator. Therefore, even if these companies do not have a direct contact with the consumers, the operators, who want to satisfy their clients' needs, transfer the consumers' requirements to the manufacturing companies. This is why “Customer needs” are represented in this diagram. <br />It compels the manufacturers to design their devices according to the consumer’s expectations. Nokia uses a classification of its consumers, from tech-leaders (these are willing to pay a lot for the latest technology available) to simplicity-seekers (these are looking for a functional and easy-to-use phone). By sorting the consumers and understanding their different expectations, the company can design tailored devices. <br />I.2.2Communication<br />For manufacturers, a communication program has two purposes ; firstly educating the consumer concerning the existing problems between the cell phone industry and the environment, in order to create a demand for green devices, and secondly publicizing the company's initiatives, in order to improve their image.<br />Most companies are already providing the consumers with information on environmental issues. These issues are generally communicated through channels like web-sites, product papers, verbal communications etc. For example, Nokia provides environmental information on its products through eco-declarations on its website ( http://www.nokia.com/A402834 ), and Sony Ericsson publishes the environmental features of all its models on its website. The aim is to raise the general awareness. Another means of communication is local campaigns, because they reach the public at large. But since the overall environmental impact of cell phones is dominated by the energy consumption during the use phase, consumers need to be fully aware of the difference they can make. Therefore, the priority is that the information has to be delivered to all the clients, not only the few that live in the specific campaigning area. Providing information in a user guide or in a separate brochure with the phone or in software can ensure that all consumers have access to the information. The information provided should be easy to understand and visible to the consumers.<br />But manufacturers do not only communicate about environmental issues: to position themselves as leaders regarding sustainable development, they have to publicize their green initiatives. This is why Nokia also communicates on its website about various topics such as environmental services, energy efficiency, materials, packaging, and take-back or recycling. Sony Ericsson published its Sustainability Policy report on its website (at the following address: http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/corporate/company/sustainability/overview).<br />Sony Ericsson also explains its policy on conscious design, ethics, energy, and recycling on this web page. But aside from communicating about their global environmental policy, manufacturers often resort to temporary operations, which are widely broadcast. For example, in 2008, Nokia France launched a program that consisted of offering 5€ to WWF for each Nokia device that was returned to a recycling facility. The money was collected to aid the safeguarding of the Loire, in France. For Nokia, working with WWF is a very powerful association for its communication: WWF gives the initiative more credit, and an unbiased image, thanks to its excellent public image. It also provides Nokia with a great communication organization: Nokia benefits from WWF's media coverage. <br />Sony Ericsson launched the Global Environmental Warranty; the company will make sure that any product taken to Sony Ericsson designated collection points will get recycled in an environmentally sound way, a warranty that is valid globally, regardless of where the product was originally purchased.<br />I.2.3Marketing strategies<br />When it comes to launching green products, Nokia and Sony Ericsson adopted two different marketing strategies.<br />To begin with, Nokia, wanting to be the first brand offering a “green” device, chose to launch a spearhead product, the Nokia 3110 Evolve. It had a bio-sourced material cover, compact packaging, and an energy-efficient charger. By being the first on the market, Nokia wanted to gild its public image, and position itself as a benchmark for sustainable development. Then, by observing and analyzing the response of the consumers to that device, the offer could be refined. For example, the Evolve was initially designed for the consumers who fall under the category of “simplicity seekers”: the aim was to design a greener phone, which targeted the average consumer. But its reception was disappointing. Therefore, green technologies are now designed for tech-leaders who consider green applications as attractive gadgets. <br />Figure 2: The Evolve (Nokia device)<br />To encourage discussion, the emergence of new ideas and a media buzz, Nokia communicated about a novel concept-phone: the morph.<br />Figure 3: Morph: the new concept-phone from Nokia<br />This new cell phone is based on nanotechnology. The materials that compose it are flexible, self-cleaning and translucent. It can take several forms : message terminal when unfolded, monoblock phone when folded in three (with a removable wireless headset) or even a bracelet, for transport. It can also change its own appearance, useful when it is set as a bracelet for example. One addition to this cell phone is that its components are less expensive to manufacture and significantly more environmentally-friendly. A presentation video can be found at the following address: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX-gTobCJHs.<br />By presenting this concept-phone, Nokia created a buzz, even if these technologies are far from available at the moment. It was only designed to provoke a debate, to propose new ideas, new concepts. It enables Nokia to obtain media coverage, and to define themselves as innovative, and concerned about the environment.<br />Sony Ericsson's marketing strategy is quite different from Nokia's. Its policy is to wait for a large range of “green” devices to be developed to launch a green range, called Greenheart. The Greenheart concept relies on a conception that takes into account the entire life cycle of a cell phone (a presentation of the concept, as well as the press release can be found here: http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/corporate/company/sustainability/consciousdesign ).<br />Figure 4: A Greenheart phone from Sony Ericsson<br />For Sony Ericsson, Greenheart is essentially a concept, which means that it is not meant to lead to a particular green phone, but rather to improve the environmental performances of all models available: the concept should be understood as a general upgrade of all phones' ecological features. This is why Sony Ericsson hasn't launched a large-scale campaign placing them as leaders in the field of sustainability: the company is waiting for the Greenheart project to be on a larger scale, so that when the campaign is publicized, Sony Ericsson will already have some green models available in its stores. <br />Both operators and manufacturers have an interest in selling green devices, and in communicating their initiatives or innovations in the field of sustainable development. From a marketing point of view, there is a huge market opportunity in the “green” sector : a company has a lot to gain when investing in an environmental project : <br />- economic gain : packaging and energy savings...<br />- human gain : brand loyalty : customers are proud of the ecological approach of the company.<br />- in-company management gain : it provides a company with the possibility to change the way people work : an environmental approach requires full reset, and requires different thinking, which is a source of innovations (in the designing of offers, in the relationship with the client...).<br />But these initiatives are also taken due the pressure of the European Commission which launches many guidelines to manage the electronic waste of cell phones.<br />II.European legislation about the disposal of cell phones<br />The design, the commercialization and the disposal of cell phones adhere to two European directives: 2002/95/CE called RoHS (Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment) and 2002/96/CE on WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). We will see what those directives are about.<br />II.1The WEEE directive<br />Since it had been observed that the number of WEEE was increasingly high, the European Parliament decided to take measures on the collection of WEEE. That collection is submitted to several rules according to the status of the company selling the product. The collection has two alternative aims: the equipment can be repaired and therefore have a second life, or, if it’s not reusable, it is sent to be recycled.<br />Alhough the member states have a role of incentive to play, almost everything is dependant on the will of the producer. The producer is the company that brings the article onto the European market (it is not the distributor, who is only the one selling the product to the consumer). For instance, Orange was the producer of iPhones until last April of this year because it was its only vendor. So until that time, Orange was in charge of collecting the iPhones once their owners gave them back. But since the beginning of May, there have been three new sellers of iPhones. Thus, the status of Orange changed from producer to distributor and so it does not have to collect the articles it sells.<br />The producer has the obligation to organize and to fund the collection so private consumers return their products for free. They do not have the right to refuse a product that has been brought back to a collection point by a consumer. However, the directive is to be applied to the member states and then the member states create laws to comply with the directives.<br />Moreover, member states have to write a report about the exact number of WEEE disposed of so the European Commission can see the progress of their policy. Indeed, the goal is to get four kilograms of WEEE reused/recycled each year. Thus, producers must have a certain traceability of their products. The companies responsible for the disposal of WEEE must be able to know where the item comes from<br />The member states have to make sure that the producers set up systems that allow the disposal of WEEE. Indeed, there are two types of WEEE: the WEEE used by the private householders and the WEEE used by the professionals. For the former, the producer must ensure the return of the DEEE for free at least to a collection point. For the latter, they may have to participate in the disposal of their WEEE. According to that policy, we can notice that there is also the duty of information about the possible impact of landfilled WEEE. WEEE must not be mixed with usual garbage for instance and for that to happen, consumers must be warned and well informed.<br />The WEEE directive places most of the responsibility on the producer for whatever type of WEEE, from private householders or from professionals, to deal with the possible second life or the recycling of a WEEE, because of the concerns landfilled materials cause.<br />II.2The RoHS directive<br />Although the WEEE directive comes after one “life” of an EEE, the RoHS directive is to be applied at the design of the article. Indeed, the process that gave birth to that directive came from both considerations about the environmental and health impact of the EEE. The goal is to reduce as much as possible the quantity of hazardous substances in EEE and thus in cell phones. That is why there is a list of elements which are banned in the manufacturing of cell phones.<br />The list is not exhaustive, but it has been modified with the revision of the directive and contains lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) or polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE). Its elaboration is however based on very serious and scientific reports. However, for a few products, the presence of certain substances is essential. Consequently a list of exceptions has been created. It stipulates the amount of some of the banned components in the product. As for the WEEE directive, the member states have to ensure the legislation is applied on their territory. They decide themselves about the possible penalties for the companies that do not respect the directive.<br />Finally, we can see that the RoHS directive is mainly about the prohibition of hazardous elements in the manufacturing of EEE. It takes into consideration the inevitable presence of some substances for a few articles but it is stricter than the WEEE directive and was passed before it.<br />II.3What is next?<br />As everyone knows, one of the most influential lobbying groups in the process of making laws is the Consumers Association. For the past few years, the main change wanted by that group is about the chargers. Indeed, a universal charger is an idea that appeals to both environmental defenders and consumers. So, their intense lobbying to force the cell phones companies to use only one type of charger will lead to a European law that will come into being before 2012. For companies such as Sony Ericsson or Orange, this charger will be called universal because the plug on telephones will be the same for all.<br />III.Eco-conception of cell phones<br />In the life cycle approach, the development of the product takes into account the manufacturing of the cell phone especially materials, design and logistics. Of course, each manufacturer aims to be the leader in environmental performance. The environmental impact of the cell phone is now at the heart of the design because it determines the consequences of the energy consumption during the use as well as recycling phases.<br />During our journey, we saw two leaders in the cellular device market, Nokia and Sony Ericsson. Both of them have requirements for their suppliers and we shall now proceed to compare the two manufacturers.<br />III.1Environmental strategies<br />Consumers focus more and more on sustainability, probably because of global warming. They want to have more information about the components of the product they are buying. In addition to this, they have requirements from authorities, legislation and NGOs, such as introducing a large amount of substance restrictions. In 2001, Sony faced a sudden drop in Playstation sales because there was too much cadmium in the cables and they discovered this just before the Christmas market. This led Sony to consider regulations about the environment.<br />Of course, this anecdote shows the approach to business and the three dimensions of sustainability: economic, environmental and social aspects of the company. Sony Ericsson and Nokia aim to occupy the position of leader in the cell phone industry concerning the environment and both of them take into account a life-cycle approach. In order to minimize the environmental impact of their products, they concentrate on the design of the product, check the production processes and the reuse of materials carefully. <br />14605-3175<br />293588191330<br />Sony Ericsson has launched the GreenHeart Project, which introduces green innovations in all the range of their products that reduce the environmental impact of the phone without compromising their style or features. Like Nokia, the global aim is to:<br />- use approved and sustainable materials and substances in their products<br />- improve the energy efficiency of chargers (and in general, devices)<br />- develop smaller packaging.<br />III.2Substance control<br />The most important impact on the environment is during the manufacturing of the phone. However, Sony Ericsson for example has 10.000 suppliers all over the world and these suppliers need to follow their requirements. Moreover, the legislation changes from one country to another. So, how can this be monitored?<br />III.2.1Organizations<br />Both companies have environmental managers who make designs for each specific project and write environmental reports. We met Helena Castrèn at Nokia and Daniel Paska at Sony Ericsson, both senior environmental managers in their group.<br />At Sony Ericsson, they don’t differentiate between various countries, they apply their product requirements globally in order to have a unique line of production. For example, Motorola defines their product requirements for each continent (Europe, China…) but that needs a closer monitoring.<br />In conclusion, the main objective is to “know what you have in your products – not what you don’t have”. Both organizations respond to this requirement by having a full declaration of the materials used in their mobile devices, in close cooperation with their suppliers.<br />III.2.2The material declaration<br />This list (available on Nokia and Sony Ericsson websites for each specific phone) identifies chemical substances in the entire life-cycle chain. Sony Ericsson has introduced a database system named COMET (Compliance on Materials and EnvironmenT) which generates this list of substances used in their products to phase out unwanted substances. Nokia and Sony Ericsson suppliers must record the material content of each component they supply. This way, they know exactly the contents of their products and they can automatically track their compliance. They can therefore easily identify what each component contains (for example, the chip). If a substance is no longer allowed legally, they search for it and tell the suppliers to get rid of it. <br />If the supplier does not comply, they ask him to do so and check that it has been done. <br />Nokia also marks each plastic and metal used in the components to make the dismantling easier.<br />In addition to this, they send products for chemical analysis in their laboratories.<br />III.2.3. The list of banned and restricted substances<br />This list is also available on Nokia and Sony Ericsson websites.<br />The following paragraph is quoted from their website (http://www.nokia.com/environment/our-responsibility/substance-and-material-management) : <br />“The Nokia Substance List identifies substances that we have banned, restricted, or targeted for reduction with the aim of phasing out their use in our products. The list is divided into two sections, Restriction in Force and Monitored Substances. We work together with our suppliers in investigating alternative materials and solutions that will help us fully eliminate restricted or monitored substances from our total product line. The Nokia Substance List will be updated annually.”<br />This paragraph is quoted from the Sony Ericsson banned and restricted list: <br />“The lists contained in this document specify the chemical substances that are banned or restricted for the use in certain circumstances in Sony Ericsson’s products and manufacturing operations. Suppliers to Sony Ericsson, have to comply with the requirements laid down in this directive, with regard to those components and products supplied to Sony Ericsson. Sony Ericsson will work with its suppliers to eliminate such substances in procured material.”<br />In both lists, the substances are divided into two categories: banned substances (restricted in force, even in low concentrations) and restricted (or monitored) substances.<br />The first list was created in 1997 at Sony Ericsson and has been improved since. We met Daniel Paska, who is the author of this list which is updated twice a year, when new legal directives are adopted or when the company decides to ban a new substance. After an update, they give the suppliers one year to adapt.<br />Nokia has been adding to this same list since 2001, by updateing it every year.<br />757555105410<br />Figure 5 : Evolution of the Nokia Substance List<br />They can be legally controlled by the RoHS directive.<br />On this list, Sony Ericsson affirms that 30% of the banned substances are voluntarily prohibited by the company, even if the directive allows them. They therefore anticipate new directives.<br />III.2.4. The supplier requirements document<br />This document contains the demands of the suppliers, who must comply with a company’s requirements. They must also comply with legal regulations, internal requirements, the banned and restricted list, and have an environmental management system. Of course, if a supplier refuses to consider these environmental issues, the companies would be prepared to reconsider their business relationship.<br />But, in the aim of long-term business collaboration, Sony Ericsson for example, helps and trains suppliers to understand their requirements and decided not to disqualify them due to lack of environmental consideration.<br />III.2.5.Banned substances<br />There are some substances that Nokia and Sony Ericsson consider undesirable in their products from an environmental perspective : <br />- Brominated and Chlorinated compounds (rFR) : these substances are used to reduce the risk of fires and some of these are banned in various regulations (EU RoHS directive for example) but the companies have decided to phase these out as a voluntary action because rFR forms dioxins in uncontrolled incineration. 99% of the use of rFR was in cables, casings and boards, electrical components such as capacitors or resistors.<br />Nokia launched its first device rFR-free in 2008 with the Nokia 7100 Supernova while Sony Ericsson launched its first BFR-free cell phone in 2002 (T68i). But they are still working on phasing out the remaining 1%. They plan to be RoHS compliant starting 2010.<br />- Polyvinyl Chlorid (PVC): PVC releases hydrochloric acid and dioxins when it is burned. Since 2007, all Nokia and Sony Ericsson new devices are PVC free. It is important to note that PVC was in the charger cables.<br />- Other materials: all new devices are now free from beryllium, phthalates, antimony.<br />- The particular case of tantalum / coltan: the Civil War in Congo.<br />http://www.un.org/News/dh/latest/drcongo.htm<br />http://www.sonyericsson.com/cws/download/1/573/763/1225452070/SETantalumStatementInfo.pdf<br />III.2.6.Material choices and the future<br />The R&D departments are working on improving the existing materials. But these companies do not produce anything; they only put the materials together to obtain a cell phone. There is research but no production.<br />While Sony Ericsson communicates on its all range of cell phones (Greenheart Project), Nokia has launched the Nokia 3110 Evolve using bioplastics, made from renewable sources, and the Nokia 5630 XpressMusic (more information can be found at the following address: http://europe.nokia.com/find-products/devices/nokia-5630-xpressmusic) with new environmental innovations.<br />Sony Ericsson is now choosing bioplastics for the wires, and recycled plastics (from milk bottles) for the manufacturing of the keys and electronics of the T650 (awarded by Greenpeace as the most environmentally- friendly cell phone in March 2008).<br />In the future, Nokia plans to launch the Remade Concept which is made 100% from recycled materials and the totally new Morph concept http://www.nokia.com/about-nokia/research/demos/the-morph-concept. The Samsung W510, reserved for the Asian market, is manufactured from bio-plastic made of corn.<br />III.3Greener packaging<br />Both companies have improved the size of their packaging and weight of a cell phone kit. We cannot change the fact that everything is made in China and transported by air. It is also difficult to monitor transport in another country. China is so big that the easiest way to transport goods is by air although there is an adequate railway infrastructure. If the packaging is smaller, lighter, far more kits can be put in an airplane. It is both better for the environment and for business.<br />In addition to this, with the perspective of a universal charger (see part V), they would be able to ship and sell the charger in a separate package.<br />Moreover, Nokia affirms that 30% of the materials used for the packaging are recycled materials.<br />The fifth part of our report deals with this in more detail as with the universal charger.<br />III.4An efficient charger<br />The universal charger will be on the market in 2012. Meanwhile, a solar charger has already been put on the market. The charger is sold with the necessary adaptators for each model of cell phone. It needs to be subject to light 24 hours before it can begin charging your cell phone.<br />Figure 6: A solar charger from VNL<br />Figure 7: An adaptator for the solar charger<br />http://www.3g.co.uk/PR/Sept2005/SharpSolar.jpg<br />IV.Telecommunication networks and sustainability.<br />Nowadays, the cell phone has become much more than just a device allowing users to stay connected to anybody, anywhere, at any time. It has now also become a fashion accessory and the convergence between cell phones and laptops is closer becoming every day, because of the growing offer of services assured by cell phones, such as an internet connexion or software applications.<br />As we have now been living with cell phones for years we have forgotten the advantages that cell phones provide by allowing us to keep in touch permanently. In many developing countries however, this service is not available especially in remote areas. For example, in India there is no network in the whole country except in big cities. The countryside remains undeveloped to a large extent without infrastructures like roads. This means that travelling from one village to the next is extremely difficult and people can spend days to complete a journey of only a few kilometers. To make things worse, they might not find what they want at their destination.<br />This is a simple example of how people from such countries could benefit from a developed network, and it highlights a new dimension of sustainability in the telecommunication field.<br />The VNL company’s research focuses on how to design equipments that can be implemented in such countries to support the network. What follows explains the architecture of networks in developed countries and the requirements to make it work. We will then see the solutions proposed by VNL to create a working network in developing countries, and we will finally discuss the possibility of implementing this kind of network in developed countries .<br />IV.1The network of developed countries as it is today<br />Firstly, it is important to briefly present the architecture of the existing network installed in every country to understand the problems that operators are facing in countries like India. <br />● The GSM network standards: The GSM architecture is based on a standard hierarchy. <br />● The base stations are at the lowest level of this hierarchy. Their role is to assure the connection of the users to the whole network, it is basically an antenna covering one area. It picks up the radio airwaves necessary for liaising between two users.<br />● On the upper level there are the base station controllers (BSC) that have to manage the information sent by all the base stations that depend on them, they also have to transmit the information to the next equipment if it is not the final destination.<br />● The BSC is connected to the MSC that represents the upper layer of the network, their role is mostly similar to the BSC.<br />It is important to understand that this equipment is designed for networks in countries with developed infrastructures and not remote areas that do not need telecom coverage.<br />Figure 8: Scheme of a present day network<br />IV.2.Problems faced and solutions proposed by VNL<br />IV.2.1The obstacles<br />This architecture is the right solution for developed countries, but it would be impossible to implement such a network in countries like India for several reasons:<br />● There is no reliable electrical network in most areas of the country, and power is mainly provided by diesel generators so it is impossible to obtain enough energy all day long from these generators. First, because it is very expensive, it also requires maintenance, mainly refueling, and India is a country with a huge surface area so access to the countryside is very difficult. Finally fuel can easily be stolen, so costs rise quickly.<br />● Indian people living in the countryside have small salaries so they can't afford a cell phone at European prices (20€ per month minimum). According to surveys, they are willing to invest up to $2 a month. How can such a new market be profitable? Operators won't invest in network installations if their exploitation will cost them more than the maintenance fees.<br />● The local population does not have the required skills to manage alone the maintenance of the base stations, and it is impossible to hire specialists coming the West to do it, again because of the excessive costs that would be inherent in such a solution. The conception of the VNL solution includes therefore much thought about breakdown resistance, convenience, facility of use and set up.<br />IV.2.2The technical solution proposed by VNL<br />Even if it is very challenging, VNL’s R&D has been working for years to develop a usable, profitable solution that could cover the populated Indian territories. They designed each part of the network, from base stations to MSC, trying to lower the energy consumption.<br />IV.2.2.1The base stations<br />VNL proposes two previews of the stations, one of the stations which will be installed in large villages and those that will cover the rural sites. They designed two kinds because of the difference in power requirements. With energy saving in mind they estimate that rural regions can be mainly covered with a radius of emission-reception of 1km. They also created base stations that can cover wider areas (radius of 5kms).<br />One of the problems was the simplicity of use of these stations because it will not be possible to take on specialists to set up the whole network, VNL is proud to declare that the product they designed and especially village sites can be set up so easily that « if you can change a tire, you can probably put one up ».<br />These base stations are completely independent of any electricity supply system, they are supplied with batteries that are charged all day long by solar power. The principle is simple: there are several batteries in parallel; one is delivering the necessary power to the station while the others are charging from the solar energy collected by solar panels. It is important to understand that the base stations do not work by solar energy, but by battery energy, because solar panels can't directly provide enough power to make the system work.<br />As we have seen, the stations can only cover « small » areas compared to the total surface area of India, so the costs would go through the roof if the network architecture chosen by VNL was the same as in France for example (totally covered territory). It was necessary to invent a new way of distributing the base stations to optimize the number of people who can be connected and minimize the number of stations.<br />The solution is called the « cascading star distribution ». It consists of restricting the covered areas according to the population density and connecting the rural sites together, making a chain up to the MSC, BSC and Host network. These connexions are assured by base stations called BlueBox™. There are two kinds of BlueBox™, the 901 designed for village sites that assures the connexion to the next rural site, and the 902, more powerful that can emit up to 10 kilometers to the next rural site or directly to the BSC depending on its place in the cascading star architecture.<br />Figure 9: Model of a new network in India<br />As we can see this distribution offers an optimal coverage for Indians, because the areas that are not covered can be considered inhabited. Each rural site is connected to the other, supporting a cluster of 5 village sites. This configuration is especially developed for India. It is based on a demographic survey that shows the typical distribution of the population in small villages of a thousand people.<br />IV.2.2.2The other parts of the network<br />The network also requires elements like MSC and BSC, which are big power consumers in our networks. Once again, they had to develop new kinds of base station.<br />● The GreenBox™, the world’s first rural-optimized BSC (Base Station Controller). One GreenBox™ BSC supports up to 16 BTS nodes (WorldGSM™ Rural, Road or Village sites). <br />● The OrangeBox™, the compact MSC (Mobile Switching Center) for rural deployments. One OrangeBox™ supports up to 6 GreenBox™ BSC nodes, serving over 10,000 subscribers. <br />The main work was to re-estimate the quantity of information that the boxes will have to manage, to make them less powerful in order to reduce their electric consumption.<br />Figure 10: Other elements of the network<br />IV.2.3.Microtelecom business model<br />The principle of microtelecom is quite simple, based on the microeconomy theory. It consists in developing a multitude of small businesses instead of the monopoly of a few companies. In their research VNL found out that it would be more profitable for the population and sustainability if the network was managed by a microtelecom economy. That means that every village site that is installed on home roofs will be exploited by the house owner, creating in this way thousands of microoperators who will be like independent managers of small parts of the network.<br />The advantages of such a solution are:<br />● VNL does not have to manage the maintenance of the network once it is set up. Indeed, the system is so easy to use that the local population can learn how to ensure its proper functioning by themselves. <br />● It also provides the local population with access to cell phones: the micro-operator is in charge of selling the devices, so people don’t have to travel to a big city to buy one.<br />● This system is an example of a perfect sustainable policy: it is very environmentally-friendly, but also aids and develops the Indian economy (thousands of Indians will earn a living from this new activity). <br />IV.2.4. A possible way to reinvent the networks of today?<br />In our country, one of the major costs for an operator is the electricity supply; so we could imagine that operators would greatly benefit from the implementation of such a low-consumption network in France. But, in fact, the most expensive parts of the network in terms of electricity are the centers for the processing of information. These centers cannot reduce their processing capacity. Orange boxes’ solution could not therefore suit our network.<br />What about replacing our base stations by the ones VNL designed, or ones similar? The demographic constraints in France require base stations of a much bigger capacity. In spite of a gain in power consumption, solar panels are very expensive and have an important carbon impact when manufactured. Moreover, the low consumption sites cannot support services like 3G because of the high rates of such technologies.<br />Even though the implementation of this kind of network is impossible in countries like France, this concept has a great potential in countries like India or some African countries. Currently research in France is more focused on reducing the energy costs of the existing network.<br />VUse phase<br />V.1Energy consumption of the use phase<br />V.1.1Policy tools for energy consumption<br /> During the use-phase, the environmental impact of the cell phone is linked to its energy consumption. In order to limit this impact, « green » standards and guidelines have been released in the EU.<br />● ISO 14001 is a standard for environmental management systems to be implemented in any business. The aim of the standard is to reduce the environmental footprint of a business and to decrease the pollution and waste a business produces. It was released in 2004 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). <br />● The CoC, ‘Voluntary Code of Conduct on Efficiency of External Power Supplies’ (released by the European Commission in 2004), has led to a significant reduction in the no-load power consumption of the chargers in cell phones, from 1.3 watts in 1999 to less than 0.3 watts today. CoC provides specific targets to manufacturers for reducing the no-load power consumption. Alcatel, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, and Sony are signatories to this CoC as well as manufacturers of other electronic products.<br />● Some Eco-labels encourage manufacturers to reduce their energy consumption like Energy Star. It is an international standard for energy efficient consumer products. It was first created as a United States government program in 1992 and the European Union adopted the program in 2001. Devices carrying the Energy Star logo, respect the environmental standards (a saving of 20%-30% on average). Sony Ericsson and Nokia have signed the Energy Star agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency.<br />● EuP (Energy-using products) is a new guideline released by the EU in January 2008, focusing on electric consumption of electronic devices. Its aim is to reduce this consumption during the whole life cycle of the device, from its conception (eco-conception) to the end of its life. It includes the DEEE and RoHS standards (cf legal chapter).<br />V.1.2.Ways to improve chargers<br />V.1.2.1Reduce no-load consumption of the charger<br />Although the biggest energy consumption of a cell phone comes from its production, Nokia points out that more than a third of the entire consumption takes place during the use-phase: <br />Figure 11: Origin of the ecological print<br />Around two thirds of the energy used is lost when chargers are disconnected from the phone but left plugged in. This is what we call the no-load energy consumption. <br />Many manufacturers, which signed the CoC and Energy star, try to reduce the no-load energy consumption, improving the efficiency of their chargers. This consumption was cut down from 1.3 watts in 1999 to lower than 0.3 watts in 2008. To inform the consumers, a group of mobile manufacturers including Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson, have created a common energy rating system for chargers. The system makes it easy for the consumer to compare and choose the most energy efficient charger. The five stars rating system shows how much energy the charger uses when left plugged in.<br /> <br />Figure 12: No-load consumption chart from Nokia<br />According to these five manufacturers, if every single client chose an energy efficient charger, the energy saved would be equal to the one produced by two average power plants.<br />Example: <br /> <br />Figure 13: Nokia High Efficiency charger AC-8 with its label<br />Likewise, the Sony Ericsson GreenHeart concept charger is rated as a five star charger, with a no-load power consumption of 3.5mW.<br />V.1.2.2. How to urge consumers to unplug the charger<br />The consumption of energy can be significantly reduced if the consumers unplug the chargers when the phone is full. A solution is to equip the chargers or the phone with sound or visual reminders that come on if the chargers are left connected. It is estimated that if this measure results in only 10% of the world’s cell phone users not leaving their chargers on no-load, it would save enough energy to power 60 000 European homes for a year.<br />We can think that manufacturers could make a charger that would cut out when the phone is full, but they need to add a lot of components to the charger to make it work. The environmental impact of doing this would cancel out the benefits.<br />In May 2007, Nokia was the first mobile manufacturer to put alerts into its phones encouraging people to unplug their chargers.<br />V.1.2.3. Develop chargers that use different energy sources<br />Nokia is also looking into the possibility of using new sources of energy such as solar and fuel cells. The energy saved in this way must be significant and offset the impact of the added technology needed for this infrastructure. However, it may be not a good solution for the European market. Indeed, solar chargers need a considerable amount of sunlight to be used. So the consumers generally possess two chargers (a conventional one and a solar energy powered one) that cause an increase in the environmental impact in the manufacturing phase. These new sources are essential for countries that do not have electricity networks.<br />V.1.2.4. The Universal Charging Solution<br />The most important initiative is the Universal charging solution which can considerably reduce the number of chargers. The initiative was launched by Orange and presented at a GSMA Congress (association of 850 mobile operators and 200 manufacturers). 17 leading mobile operators and vendors agreed with this solution (3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, Mobilkom Austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, -754380389255Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone).<br /> This universal charger will fit all new cell phones and will respect the EuP directive. It will have a micro-USB plug (as the universal charging interface), will work with a voltage of 5 Volts and will deliver power of up to 2.5 watts. This charger will be equipped with an energy reducer device and will automatically enter the standby mode when the phone battery is fully charged. Manufactures aim at a no-load energy consumption of 0.05 watts.<br /> The universal charging solution will result in a 50% reduction in standby energy consumption, elimination of 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers and a reduction of 13.6 million tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions each year. <br /> The universal charger will also make life much simpler for the consumer, who will be able to use the same charger for future handsets. Each country has to decide who will sell the chargers: operators or constructors and how they will be sold (many possibilities: package containing only phone or conventional package with phone and charger / charger sold separately).<br /> The European Commission plan to compel manufacturers to create one cell phone charger for all handsets by 2012, and some manufacturers have already equipped handsets with a micro-USB interface. <br />V.1.3Other ways to reduce energy consumption<br />V.1.3.1 Phone options<br />Nokia equips some of their devices with a power-saving standby mode. This mode helps the consumer to save energy and can be manually activated from the Power menu of the device. Nokia proposes to monitor in real time how much power the device is consuming using Energy Profiler, a downloadable application. The consumer can see which applications on his phone use a lot of energy and turn off the ones he does not need. <br />V.1.3.2. Reducing the size of the product’s packaging<br />The weight and size of packaging affects not only materials but the energy required to transport and store the products. From February 2006 until the end of 2007, Nokia saved 100 million euros during the distribution phase (around the world) by reducing the sizes of packages. Paper consumption is also reduced by limiting the amount of printing material inside the package. Instead, the consumers find this information on the phone or on the web-site.<br /> Examples of Nokia innovative packaging:<br /> <br />Letterbox Small Compact <br />V.1.3.3. Companies’ Environmental policy<br />Some companies have also an in-company environmental policy. For instance, to reduce its negative impact on the global climate, Sony Ericsson purchases renewable electricity for their office sites in Sweden (about 40% of the total electricity used in all their sites).This electricity is exclusively made from renewable energy sources like wind, solar and hydro. After a business trip for Nokia, the traveller can pay to offset the associated CO2 emissions and the cost will be reimbursed by Nokia. The payments will help to fund projects around the world that focus on renewable energy and energy efficiency.<br />V.2.How can the use-phase be greener?<br />V.2.1Phone Software and services.<br />V.2.1.1. Becoming a “multiple-use mobile terminal”<br />The development of telecommunications, Internet and wireless technologies has increased the number of functions in a cell phone. The latest cells incorporate options like cameras, games, music players, a digital TV receiver, internet browsers and the possibility to make payments at shops and bank transactions by phone, so that the consumer does not have to buy, use or recharge separate electronic items. Moreover, long-distance calls or video conferences reduce the necessity to travel. Taking, sharing and storing images on the phone instead of printing them out or listening to MP3 instead of buying CDs reduce the impact on our environment. For instance, a mobile device's power demand is around 1-5W whereas computers consume 10-50W – making our small mobile devices multiple times more energy-efficient in comparison to computers.<br />On a global scale, the development of features for the cell phone could be beneficial for the environment. But we have to make sure that these options will not cause new environmental burdens and that the consumers will want to buy only one product instead of several.<br />V.2.1.2. Prolonging the use phase by updating software<br />The use phase of a phone can be prolonged if consumers have the possibility to update software according to their needs and preferences. The two manufacturers we visited offer these services to their customers, through the OVI platform for Nokia or the Update Service for Sony Ericsson. They provide customers with games, maps, applications to share files and photos, to download music, to browse new applications and content… <br />Orange has decided to set up a competition with university students or their equivalent in mind. They will have to develop software applications for cell phones with their API’s.<br />V.2.1.3. Eco services allowing sustainable lifestyles<br />Eco applications and services can promote sustainable actions and increase people’s environmental awareness. Nokia proposes for instance to offset CO2 emissions from aircraft with “we:offset”, a free application (http://www.nokia.com/environment/we-create/services/we-offset) and the “Eco zone” application (http://www.nokia.com/environment/we-create/services/eco-catalogue) , which contains videos from WWF, links to green tips and eco communities. Solutions proposed by the manufacturers are integrating an electronic manual into the cell phone in order to minimize the paper consumption.<br />V.2.2.Educate consumers about sustainable behaviour<br />V.2.2.1 Proposing a user guide<br />Consumer behaviour has a significant influence on the environmental impact of the cell phone during its life cycle: if we change the consumers’ habits, we can reduce this impact. The customer has to be informed about what is at stake for the environment, in order to help him choose greener handsets and accessories (as shown in the marketing part of this report) or to use them more carefully. But most consumers do not even know that they can considerably reduce energy consumption by unplugging their charger. A user guide containing advice to reduce the environmental impact and provided with the cell phone could be a solution to inform the consumer about what to do. This information needs to be clear, easily understandable and accessible.<br />V.2.2.2. Advice from Nokia and Orange <br />Orange already proposes four green attitudes on its website: <br />- prolong a phone’s life (since April, Orange offers a 40€ check if a customer chooses to keep his phone when renewing his subscription)<br /> - look for the greener handset<br />- reduce resources consumption (e-mail bill…)<br />- bring back old and unused handsets<br />Other advice can be found on the Nokia website :<br />Figure 14: Advice from Nokia<br />V.2.3.An indirect solution: the case of one particular operator<br />In conclusion, we will outline a totally different way to act towards protecting the environment.<br />The Belgian operator Ello Mobile offers to give all its profits to several social and environmental projects. The customer chooses from eight projects the one he wants to support.<br />Being a MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), this operator does not have many costs and is thus able to make profits fast. It does not sell any handsets but only offers a network access, with rates similar to many other operators. Its only publicity is found on its website and famous people represent the brand for free. This kind of generous initiative appeals to the customer who participates in charitable or environmental work only by spending time on the phone. Ello Mobile has now 3.000 clients (over 10 million in Belgium). This indirect solution can be an inspiring influence for other countries.<br />VI.The end of life of a cell phone.<br />Like any product, cell phones complete a life cycle. Each stage of a cell phone’s life cycle can affect the environment in different ways, especially on account of the many different components that a cell phone has, and which each have their own life cycle.<br />Figure 15: Life cycle of a cell phone component.<br />We are now going to focus on the end of life stage of a cell phone. There are three possibilities for people who have finished with their cell phone : disposal, reuse, and recycling. But before studying each of these possibilities, it is important to emphasize the low rate of old cell phones that are collected. Especially when it is compared to the huge number of cell phones that are sold each year. Indeed, in 2007, 1,15 billion phones were sold in the world, and according to a Nokia survey, 74% of the population don’t think about recycling their cell phones. According to a Sony Ericsson survey, only 7% of the old cell phones are recycled.<br />In Western countries, the issue comes from the fashion side of the cell phone, which leads to users on average replacing cells every 18 months, although a cell phone is in fact made to last about 7 years, according to Regenersis, a company specialized in phone recycling. But in developing countries, the issue is more complicated because there are no facilities to dispose of old cell phones.<br />VI.1.Disposal<br />VI.1.1Environmental impact of a cell phone thrown in the bin<br />Some cell phones and their accessories contain substances that are amongst the 10 most dangerous known to man including Cadmium, Rhodium, Palladium, Beryllium and Lead Solder and most of this ends up in a landfill site or the sea. This is because, at least until recently, there was no easy and safe way that you could dispose of your old cells, and so they were just thrown in the bin. Now with so many convenient cell phone recycling schemes, there is no need for this.<br />Figure 16: Content of a Nokia Mobile<br />Even if they are not mentioned by the constructors, cell phones contain small quantities of hazardous substances which may damage the environment if they are not disposed of correctly. The quantity in landfill sites is significant, and considerable toxic contamination is caused by the inevitable medium and long-term effects of these substances leaking into the surrounding soil. For instance, the cadmium in one battery can pollute up to 600 000 liters of water.<br />VI.1.2.The real challenge : the take-back<br />Nowadays, in western countries, there are facilities to recycle or reuse different kinds of electronic equipment, like cell phones. We visited for instance Regenersis in Lille, which organizes the logistic chain needed for the take-back of old cell phones, and then dispose of them. But currently, most old cell phones end up in people’s desk drawers. <br />Figure 17: Where are all the phones, source Nokia<br />Moreover, since February 2003, the collection and recycling of electronic equipment is governed by the WEEE directive (Waste electric and electrical equipment). The legislation provides for the creation of collection schemes where consumers return their used e-waste free of charge. The objective of these schemes is to increase the recycling and/or re-use of such products. That whole system is based on the 'individual producer responsibility’ (IPR), which ask the producer to finance the collection and the recycling of its own products.<br />So what are the different take-back schemes? Nokia, for example, has set up more than 5000 collection points around the world. According to Sony Ericsson, over 1 million of their phones were collected in 2006 in Western Europe. But a specialized company like Regenersis has set up more than 10 000 collection points in Europe! But there are different ways to collect a cell phone: through the collection points in the shops, but also through municipal recycling centers. We visited one in Turku, Finland : Ekopaja. People can bring here their WEEE and Ekopaja sort it out, before trying to repair some products or to use some materials from several broken products in order to get one running product. Eventually, the materials which cannot be used directly are sent to a recycling company (the LHJGroup, in Forssa). This kind of activity is also done by private companies like Regenersis, in Lesquin, France, which works with several companies like SFR or Vodafone for example. Those companies set up collection points in their shops and then send the collected phones to Regenersis.<br />In France, the system is quite complex, as the French adaptation of the European legislation has brought about the creation of 3 “eco-organisms”, in charge of collecting and disposing of the WEEE. Each of these “eco-organism” is a producer’s consortium. So we have in France three private companies which are fulfilling a mission of public utility. And they get their financing thanks to the “eco-participations” that every consumer must have already noticed.<br />Figure 18: The French collecting system (Source: CCIP)<br />Finally, we can notice that in countries, the real challenge is to get the old phones back in order to dispose of them. Recently in the United Kingdom, some companies have offered cash for old phones: maybe the best way to make consumers bring back their old phones. The attraction for many consumers is being able to gain £200 from recycling recent high-end models. The internet searches which include the terms “cell phone recycling”, “phone recycling”, and “recycle cell phones” have seen an increase of 189% in the UK between May 17 2008 and May 16 2009. Is this the beginning of a global awareness about the issue?<br />VI.1.3.Recycling or Reuse ?<br />As we have seen, when the cell phones are collected, they are disposed of by different kinds of organizations. While we thought before our journey that a majority of the collected phones were simply recycled, we realized that, actually, a large part of them are sent to developing countries for a second life.<br />For instance, Orange has chosen to reuse –when it is possible- the cell phones instead of recycling them. A choice easily understandable because of the interest that an operator like Orange can have in emerging markets: the more people have cell phones there, the more operators will sell their packages! We are currently in the middle of a debate: reuse or recycle. And if the European legislation urges to choose reuse rather than recycling, companies like Nokia or Sony Ericsson keep recycling the collected phones<br />VI.2.Recycling<br />The following quotation has been found on the Nokia website : 3<br />3<br />“Nokia does not carry out refurbishment business as a company, or support any refurbishment carried out by refurbishment companies, at the moment. The reasons are that we have no control over the quality or safety of the phones that are resold after restoration. Furthermore, we would not like to see the third world a place where industrialised world dumps old technology. A more sustainable solution is to utilize the significant advances made in technology in the past decade, and offer products that are optimised for developing markets, where recycling infrastructure is often lacking.”<br />The choice of Nokia is clear : they want to recycle all the collected phones. Once again, we understand that there is an economic interest which incites Nokia to make that choice: they obviously have to maximize their sales of cell phones, so they have to minimize the cell phones reuse rate. Fortunately, economic interests can be combined with real environmental progress.<br />According to Nokia, if every Nokia user recycled just one unused phone at the end of its life, this would save nearly 80,000 tons of raw materials. Indeed, phones that cannot be used anymore can be utilized otherwise - 100 percent of the materials in a phone can be recovered and used to make new products or generate energy. Moreover, as we have seen, it is possible to find in cell phones some valuable materials.<br />Technically, the different steps in recycling are first the removal of batteries, and then their treatment in specialized processes to recover Ni and Co. Then, after a manual or mechanical separation of the components, handsets are treated in specialized pyrometallurgical operations.<br />During our journey, we did not visit any real recycling center, so unfortunately we don’t have that much information about the technical side of recycling.<br />VI.3.Reuse<br />For an operator like Orange, the choice is obviously the reuse, despite of the fact that they could use an “éco-organisme” to recycle the old cell phones. They used to work with Regenersis, but now they work with “Les Ateliers du Bocage”, which is part of the Emmaüs association.<br />In this kind of center, cell phones are sorted out : thanks to an identification number -the IMEI number- and thanks to a database uploaded every month, they can separate profitable handsets from non profitable ones, which are sent to recycling centers. According to Regenersis, about 50% of the collected phones are re-used, but according to Sony Ericsson, the figures are closer to 75%-85% of them. Then, handsets are technically tested and their data erased. Eventually, the phones are sold by packs, mainly in emerging markets according to Regenersis. In that whole chain, Regenersis emphasizes the importance of the traceability: they have to know at any time from where any handset comes from, and where it is going to go.<br />For Orange, that traceability is very important because they have to give guarantees to the “éco-organisme”. Indeed, that “éco-organisme” struggles against waste shipment, which means the sending of waste to developing countries. The sale of cell phones for a second life offers different advantages according to Orange : <br />Orange is more and more involved in emerging markets, like in Africa for instance.<br />All income is donated to associations like WWF or Unicef.<br />Cell phones are a means of development in those countries.<br />The fact is that whatever happens, the cell phone, when re-used, still needs to be disposed of in its real end-of-life. And that brings us to the issue of the lack of facilities to dispose of electronic waste in these countries. Orange told us about projects to develop facilities in Africa and in Asia, but for the time being, they do not exist. Regenersis also told us about the organization of a take-back chain, but once again, it is still a project.<br />So at present, the real end-of-life of our cell phones occurs when they are not running anymore in developing countries, or when they are badly recycled, landfilled, or incinerated ! <br />Conclusion<br />Thanks to the Trek, we had the opportunity to dive into the world of Green IT. It was a good way to discover how a company runs, and to discover to what extent environmental issues are taken into consideration nowadays. Between the legislative framework and consumer expectations, the different companies involved in the development the sustainable phone have chosen different environmental policies. And if the cell phone industry cannot currently be called “green”, we noticed a global awareness of the issues caused by its activities. We are only at the beginning of a process which will lead to the convergence of business interests and environmental progress. As future engineers, we have to keep this in mind in order to become important players of this (r)evolution, one of the most fundamental challenges of our century. <br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgFwiCApH7E&feature=fvw<br />Bibliography<br /> Nokia Website, The power of we: working together to protect the environment [online]. Available at : http://www.nokia.com/environment (viewed on May, 17th 2009)<br /> Sony Ericsson Website, Sustainability : life-cycle in mind [online]. Available at : http://www.sonyericsson.com/environment (viewed on May, 15th 2009)<br /> VNL Website, We’re the next billion mobile user [online]. Available at : http://www.vnl.in (viewed on May, 28th 2009)<br /> CCIP, Gérer ses déchets: les fiches pratiques par type de déchet [online]. Available at : http://www.environnement.ccip.fr/dechets/fiches/ (viewed on May, 28th 2009)<br /> Mobile news direct, Latest mobile news [online]. Available at : http://www.mobilemarketingnews.co.uk/ (viewed on May, 29th 2009)<br /> European Commission, IPP Pilot Project on mobile phones [online]. Available at : http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ipp/mobile.htm (viewed on May, 27th 2009)<br /> European Commission, WEEE directive [online]. Available at : http://ec.europa.eu/environment/waste/weee/index_en.htm (viewed on May, 21th 2009)<br /> European Commission, ROHS directive [online]. Available at : http://www.rohs.eu/english/index.html (viewed on May, 21th 2009)<br />All the other information comes from our visits and the presentations we attended. We thank again all the persons who accepted to meet us and to share with us their knowledge.<br />