Sustainability in Mobile Tech: Eco-Friendly Initiatives in the Smartphone Industry

With more than 53 million metric tons of e-waste generated globally, it’s no wonder that the topic of sustainability in mobile technology is one of grave concern. Overall, there is an intensified focus on the environmental impact of all technology e-waste. For business leaders, sustainability initiatives and metrics are now included in their highest priorities. Consequently, mobile technology programs with their high rate of device turnover are attracting considerable attention. Does your organization actively purse improvements with sustainability in your mobility program?

Both mobile device manufacturers and IT organization realize the need to balance innovation with responsible product consumption. Let’s explore a few ways this is happening from the smartphone manufacturers first:

• Reducing e-Waste – this is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to the environment as more devices are manufactured and older devices have reached the end of their lifecycle. Add to this challenge our technology consumption levels and e-waste becomes a massive issue that must be addressed. Does everyone recycle responsibly or are devices haphazardly thrown away, or forgotten in closets and drawers? Trade in programs have become popular from both the manufacturers and the wireless carriers so the old devices can be properly recycled.

• Efficient Manufacturing and Design – the concept of “sustainable design” includes smartphones and tablets with a focus on using renewable and recyclable materials. Companies are also working on designs that allow for easy component replacement, extending the lifecycle of the device and eco-friendly packaging and materials. We have seen this during product announcements by the major smartphone manufacturers as well as in their sustainability reports.

• Responsible Material Sourcing – the extraction of rare and precious metals used in smartphones can have a negative impact on the environment and local communities. Manufacturers are taking steps to ensure responsible sourcing of these materials.

• Recycling Awareness Campaigns – many manufacturers run educational campaigns regarding the importance of recycling, the impact it has on our environment, and the best way to dispose of technology devices.

How Enterprises Can Work Towards Sustainability                                                                                                            When it comes to managing thousands of smartphones and tablets, IT departments have quite a task to effectively manage each IT asset’s lifecycle. As the smartphone industry embraces eco-friendly initiatives, enterprises can also play a pivotal role in promoting sustainability and responsible technology consumption.

Building on the principles discussed earlier, here’s how businesses can contribute to a greener future:

1. Implement Device Lifecycle Management: extend the lifecycle of your company’s devices with full lifecycle management best practices, including project management of operating system updates and device refresh projects. Knowing where every asset is in the lifecycle allows for the best ROI on your technology expenditures.
2. Strive for Device Reclamation vs. Recycling: reclamation programs go far beyond regular recycling to ensure that the maximum number of devices are recovered and include a rigorous process to ensure certified data erasure, preparing devices for resale in the secondary market. This approach not only contributes to the circular economy but maximizes the value recovered from your company’s assets.
3. Set Sustainability Goals and Tracking: integrate sustainability goals into your corporate strategies. By committing to reducing e-waste and promoting responsible technology consumption, your enterprise can inspire positive change.

Shaping a Greener Tomorrow
As smartphone manufacturers lead the charge in adopting eco-friendly initiatives, enterprises can align their practices with these sustainability efforts. By making conscious choices during procurement, embracing circular economy practices, and engaging in responsible IT asset disposal, businesses can contribute significantly to reducing electronic waste and promoting a more environmentally conscious future.

OVATION Wireless has been helping clients with Managed Mobility Services for over two decades while providing full lifecycle management, including a comprehensive reclamation program for IT assets to include sustainability metrics. Contact us today for a brief discussion on how we may be able to provide lift to your current mobility management program.