The amount of greenhouse gasses created through power generation required for charging of mobile devices will double between now and 2019, according to a report from Juniper Research.
The analyst company says that generating the power required to charge mobile devices will produce 13 megatonnes CO2e (CO2 equivalent) of greenhouse gases per annum by 2019, up from 6.4 megatonnes this year. Nearly 50% of these 2019 emissions will come from coal-fired Asian electricity grids powering growing smartphone use.
The report, ‘Green Mobile - The Complete Guide to Vendor Strategies & Future Prospects 2014-2019’ examines sustainability across the whole mobile ecosystem, from manufacturing, through to device usage and disposal.
Juniper highlights that supply chain emissions are still a problem for the industry, with component manufacturing creating themajority of greenhouse gasses in supply chain. If the industry begings to make moves towards sustainability, 57.8 megatonnes in GHG could be saved by 2019, although output of GHG is still expected to rise by 31.9% by 2019, to 115.5 megatonnes.
If manufacturers can improve their energy efficiency, there are also financial benefits to be gained, Juniper notes. Thirty percent of supplier organisations surveyed by the CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) in 2012 said that they had seen monetary savings as a result of implementing sustainability programmes, resulting in a combined saving of $13.7bn through efficiency savings and emissions reduction.
The report also notes that where ICT companies have insisted on renewable energy from their grids, energy companies have offered to expand renewable supply to other consumers. It claims that more a widespread adoption of this approach could help lower supplier emissions within the mobile arena.
Phone design has a large impact on recyclability, as certain design features make recycling uneconomical. Vendors must plan for end of device life to ensure they do not exacerbate the growing e-waste problem.