Chinese mobile device manufacturer Huawei has taken the unusual step of thoroughly auditing where the worst polluting happens for its products, and concluded that it’s mostly your–the end-user consumer’s–fault.
Huawei’s one of those companies that probably plays a big role in your life without you realizing it: It’s behind many of those 3G USB sticks that’re enabling the 3G mobile broadband revolution, for one. It’s also a firm that sells its products by the million globally, and it takes its global environmental responsibility pretty seriously. For example, it’s been undertaking a multi-year study into how its factories and products impact the environment throughout their lifespan.
The conclusion of the Lifecycle Assessment study found that 70% of a product’s carbon emissions occur during the portion of its life when it’s in use. Meanwhile, all the plastic heating, injection molding, transportation of numerous components, and soldering that go into putting the things together contribute less than 30% of a product’s carbon emission footprint. That 70% is your responsibility, and comes from the energy each USB stick (or, in the case of bigger Huawei gear like the hardware inside a cell tower, the transmitters, and data processors) sups from the national grid via your laptop’s battery.
The findings represent an impressive tick in Huawei’s green credential’s box since the company is committed to reducing the physical impact of its operations at all levels–even while they’re in the greasy mitts of the average consumer. Also, it tells us that we’ll be seeing many more devices arriving that operate on a similar principle to Apple’s strange new rechargeable battery charger. This device claims to draw just 10% of the current of other brand chargers when it’s trickle charging batteries right at the top of their charge cycle–around 3mW versus 30mW. It’s a subtle difference, but if you multiply it by the millions of devices Apple, or Huawei sell annually there’s a measurable positive environmental impact.
And with Huawei busy envisioning a very highly wireless-tech-integrated future for all our lifestyles, the green impact of each gizmo is going to be important:
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