Today’s cellphones- from a windup biodegradable bamboo device to a solar-powered option made from recycled water bottles- have gotten a green face lift, but those at Sony Ericsson are hoping to be a bit more subtle with their sustainability.
“There is a risk you go into gimmicks and marketing ploys around green products,” explains Sony Ericsson sustainability director Mats Pellback Scharp. “If you don’t do the right thing for the right reason, there is a risk the consumer will lose faith in you as an industry and you as a company.”
Sony Ericsson has opted out of gimmicks like solar panels- arguing it’s not worth the embodied energy used to produce them- and instead they’re focused on cleaning up their entire product line. In fact, they’ve been doing it for awhile. The company starting focused on environmental sustainability back in 1997 and in 2001 they became the first company to remove brominated flame retardants from its products.
In 2008 they launched the GreenHeart concept focused on the entire lifecycle of their phones, including features like bio-plastic housings, recycled plastic keypads, charger with 3.5mW standby power, more eco-conscious packaging and an e-manual. They’re launching the concept with just one phone as a trial, but like all the eco-friendly features they implement, their goal is to implement what works across their entire product line.
In this video, Pellback Scharp showed us the GreenHeart phone and its packaging that appeared impossibly small partly thanks to their elimination of a paper manual.