Smartphones have long been linked to a number of major sustainability issues, but interest in more sustainable devices is growing. Emerging brands are leading the way.
Although sales of new smartphones seem to have slowed down in the beginning of 2022 due to for example component shortages and global uncertainty, still, more than one billion smartphones are sold yearly around the globe. One reason for these large sales figures is that smartphones are being exchanged often. In December last year Deloitte estimated that the expected total amount of smartphones in use by the end of 2022 (4.5 billion) will generate 146 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions this year. An alarming 83 percent of these emissions will come from the manufacture, shipping, and first year of use of the 1.4 billion new smartphones that are sold in 2022.
TCO Development, the organization behind TCO Certified – the world’s leading sustainability certification for IT products, has seen a greater demand for more sustainable smartphones recently.
“Purchaser demand for more sustainable smartphones is growing, and there is also a greater interest among smartphone brands to invest in sustainability, which makes the future look a bit brighter. It is emerging brands that are leading the way toward more sustainable smartphones,” says Sören Enholm, CEO of TCO Development.
Last year, Fairphone 4 5G became certified according to TCO Certified. Realme GT2 Pro followed this year. In total there are now three models certified according to TCO Certified. Criteria in TCO Certified cover both environmental and social responsibility in the supply chain and throughout the product life cycle, including hazardous substances, circularity, socially responsible manufacturing, environmentally responsible manufacturing and more.
TCO Certified helps get the purchaser’s voice directly into the IT supply chain, where the majority of a smartphone’s lifetime sustainability impacts are found. Criteria are designed to drive change where it matters most. With a wide choice of certified product models from well-known brands, it is the certification of choice for purchasers wanting to select IT products responsibly.