Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Cell phone companies work together on universal chargers


Finally, the days of trying to figure out which cord goes with which mobile phone are hopefully over.  The mobile phone industry, specifically seventeen mobile phone manufacturers and operators, yesterday committed to developing a universal cell phone charger/adapter by 2012.  While on the surface such an announcement might be small in comparison with billion of dollars spent on network deployments, this industry based initiative could provide an estimated 50% reduction in standby energy consumption and thousands of ton of duplicate chargers – greatly reducing its carbon footprint.

Also, there is the added benefit for consumers of cheaper costs (with no charger cord) and less expenses for OEMs.  Companies that have joined the initiative include AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.  Key industry players not included are Apple, RIM and Palm. 

ZTE launches its own solar powered mobile phone


ZTE has launched its own solar powered mobile phone, the Coral-200 Solar.  What makes this annoucement more interesting is the target market for the device, specifically the emerging markets.  Given the lack of power outlets in many developing areas, inexpensive, solar powered devices makes complete sense.  in a recent announcement, the China-based ZTE has partnered with Jamaica’s Digicel Group to rollout the ‘world’s first mass-market solar cellphone to folks with limited or o access to the power grid.” 

It is expected to be available by June 2009.  More to come later..

By 2010, all Nokia phones will be brominated & chlorinated free


Based on information from the Nokia website, Nokia will remove all brominated and chlorinated compounds as well as antimony trioxide from all phones by 2010.  In Nov 2008, Nokia introduced its first device, the Nokia 7100 Supernova, which was free of brominated compounds.  


At present, the typical Nokia mobile phone has the following material breakdown:

  • Plastics: 45%
  • Metals: 35%
  • Glass and ceramics: 10%
  • Battery electrodes: 9%
  • Precious metals: 0.11%
  • Other: 0.9%

Nokia also reports that all new Nokia phones developed since 2006 are PVC free and RoHS compliant (Restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment).  


For more information on Nokia’s material/substances plans, visit

More information on the Nokia 3110 Evolve


Based on the information from Nokia, the Nokia 3110 Evolve features include:

  • 50% of its bio covers come from renewable sources
  • Has Nokia’s most energy efficient charger, AC-8 (the charger delivers juice at a full 94% below Energy Star specification)
  • phone is made of 60% recycled content

The Nokia 3110 Evolve is based on the original 3110 classic, a phone that has a 1.3 megapixel camera, FM radio and tri-band GSM radio.  Based on Nokia studies, the Nokia 3110 Evolve has 15 to 20% lower energy consumption during its lifecycle than comparable products.



LG partners with REC on solar energy


LG Electronics entered into an exclusive solar energy agreement with REC Wafer of Norway to purchase multicrystalline silicon wafers.  

According to LG, crystalline silicon solar cells are expected to make up 80% of the solar industry by 2010, overtaking thin film solar cells.  Crystalline silicon solar cells are based on silcon wafers, while thin film solar cells are made by coating light absorbing layers and electrodes from various materials on a substrate.  Thin film solar cells are less expensive but also less efficient. 


Samsung unveils a solar-powered mobile phone called Blue Earth


It has been reported that Samsung will launch a solar-powered touchscreen phone, called Blue Earth, by the 2nd half of 2009 in the United Kingdom.

The phone is made from PCM, the recycled plastic from water bottles.  Other key features of the phone include a pedometer that tells how much CO2 emissions one saves by walking instead of driving, a ‘eco’ mode for efficient screen brightness and a decent solar panel on the back of the phone to charge it enough to make a call anytime the sun is out.


Sony Ericsson wins greenest electronics company award


According to Greenpeace, our friends at Sony Ericsson won the greenest electronics company award for 2008.   Interestingly, only two companies scored higher than 5 (out of 10): Sony Ericsson and Sony.  SE was the overall winner because of its top marks on reducing toxic chemicals in their mobile device products.   The Greenpeace guide examined the production procedures of 18 different electornic companies.    Well done Sony Ericsson. 

Shared patent group for eco-innovation


While IBM was again the #1 organization in receiving over 3,100 patents in the US in 2007, it has taken an alternative approach to the environment, with regards to patent development.  In January, IBM created an Eco-Patents Common, a group focused on sharing eco-friendly technology and innovation.  The patent commons will be administered by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and has the participation of some large companies including Sony, Nokia and Pitney Bowes.  The commons group was given 31 patents initially in January 2008 and expected to obtain many more in the coming years.  Kudos to IBM for getting the industry to work together on this..

GM invests in second ethanol start-up


It was announced on Thursday that the company has invested in a second ethanol company called Mascoma, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The company develops a biochemical approach to converting wood chips and agricultrual wastes into ethanol.  GM’s first investment was a stake in Coskata, a cellulosic ethanol company.

The company creates a specialty microbes that breakdown non-food plant matter into sugars that are fermented into ethanol.   Nice to see GM continue its push into alternative investments. 

Tesla Roadster officially launches


Next week, Tesla will officially open its first store in California.  The Tesla Roadster is an all electric sports car that tops at nearly $125,000 when fully loaded.  The company, armed with $40 million investment, has has some powerful investors including the two founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  Must say the car is pretty slick, with design features similar to a Porsche.  Its cell-lithium ion battery pack gives off no emissions and goes from 0 to 60 in just under 40 seconds.  It can go about 225 miles one one charge and can be fully charged in 3.5 hours. 

Those interested in the vehicles, the delivery time is estimated around 15 months.  The company plans on a production number of 1,500 cars for 2009.