Fairphone is one of the only phone manufacturers out there with a mission for sustainability and ethics. Its Android phones are among the most repairable on the market, and the firm is doing its best to support the hardware as long as possible. As such, it has just released a new Android update to its five-year-old Fairphone 2 — Android 9 Pie.
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Electronic waste is an increasingly salient issue. As more and more of our stuff comes with processors and batteries, and as we're pressured to upgrade it sooner and sooner, we're racking up a whole lot of difficult-to-recycle crap. Fledgling companies like Fairphone and Teracube, aware of this problem and the potential business opportunity to be seized in solving it, offer devices that are positioned as less environmentally taxing. The latter's newest phone, the Teracube 2e, costs just $199 and will last you all of four years — at least that's what the company says. After using the phone for a few weeks, though, I can't help but be skeptical.
Last year, Google made a shaky promise to include recycled materials in all its products by 2022. According to the company, it's hit that goal early — all new Pixel and Nest products now include recycled materials in their design. In light of this success, Google has announced some new sustainability goals for the next few years.
When it went carbon neutral in 2007, Google cemented its place at the top of the tree when it comes to major global companies and sustainability. It has also been matching its energy use with 100% renewables since 2017 — of which it is the largest corporate purchaser — and runs the cleanest global cloud infrastructure. CEO Sundar Pichai is as committed to the cause as ever: he's announced that Google's carbon legacy has been eliminated and that it plans to be entirely carbon-free by 2030.
The Fairphone 3 was announced at the end of last month, aiming at combining sustainability and repairability in a single device. The company is known for receiving high scores on iFixit, with the first model getting 7/10, and the Fairphone 2 being awarded the top 10/10 rating. The third iteration confirms the company’s commitment to building phones that are easy to repair, as the Fairphone 3 just got the same perfect 10/10 score.
Cell phone manufacturers are battling to design aesthetically pleasing phones with impressive performance, but often neglect their products' repairability and impact on the planet. Fairphone, on the other hand, has been producing handsets that are sustainable and produced ethically. Now, nearly three years after its second handset's release, the company has just announced the Fairphone 3, a modular mid-range phone built with sustainability in mind.
Demand for expensive phones might be slowing, but consumerism as a whole continues. In the wake of our collective and unceasing desire for more, better, cheaper, Google is the latest company to stand up on a sustainability soapbox, announcing its intention to better the environmental impact of its "Made by Google" products. In a series of vague and easily met goals, the company wants to ensure that 100% of its hardware include recycled materials by 2022, with 100% of shipments being carbon neutral by next year.