New smartphone brands lead way in sustainability

Interest in more sustainable smartphone devices is growing, with emerging brands leading the way.

Although sales of new smartphones have slowed this year as a result of component shortages and economic uncertainty, still more than one billion smartphones are sold each year globally.

Because of the typical high turnover of handsets, the total number of smartphones in use by the end of 2022 (4.5 billion according to analysis from Deloitte) will generate 146 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions this year. Some 83% 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.

“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, the sustainability certification business.

Last year, Fairphone 4 5G became 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 and environmentally responsible manufacturing.

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