Reducing the carbon footprint of ICT products through material efficiency strategies: A life cycle analysis of smartphones
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Life cycle assessment
Life cycle costs
With the support of a life cycle assessment model, this study estimates the carbon footprint (CF) of smartphones and life cycle costs (LCC) for consumers in scenarios where different material efficiency strategies are implemented in Europe. Results show that a major contribution to the CF of smartphones is due to extraction and processing of materials and following manufacturing of parts: 10.7 kg CO2,eq/year, when assuming a biennial replacement cycle. Printed wiring board, display assembly, and integrated circuits make 75% of the impacts from materials. The CF is increased by assembly (+2.7 kg CO2,eq/year), distribution (+1.9 kg CO2,eq/year), and recharging of the device (+1.9 kg CO2,eq/year) and decreased by the end of life recycling (−0.8 kg CO2,eq/year). However, the CF of smartphones can dramatically increase when the energy consumed in communication services is counted (+26.4 kg CO2,eq/year). LCC can vary significantly (235–622 EUR/year). The service contract can in particular be ...