The buy-and-throw-away culture of consumer technology is deeply ingrained, but Sony Ericsson believes it can be a part of turning this around. The company today announced plans to reduce its carbon footprint by 15 per cent by 2015, with initiatives that include handsets being produced from recyclable materials, calling the program Greenheart.
To be clear, Greenheart isn't the name of a phone, or the name of a range of phones, but is instead a new corporate philosophy about the way the company approaches its carbon emissions goals. Greenheart is the way Sony Ericsson plans to eradicate toxic chemicals used in its phones, the way it plans to reduce the cost to the environment in manufacturing and transport, and it's a commitment to producing handsets and accessories that have a lesser impact during a phone's life cycle.
Naite is the codename for Sony Ericsson's first "green" handset and all the plastic used to manufacture the phone come from recycled goods. To improve its green proposition, the Naite will also ship without a physical paper manual, instead electronic instructions will coming pre-installed on the phone. E-manuals will be unique first with Naite, but a spokesperson for Sony Ericsson explained that this approach would be common across the company's portfolio for upcoming releases, with smaller, recycled retail boxes complementing this reduction in paper waste.
Sony Ericsson has also developed what it calls the zero-charger; a standard wall charger that uses only 0.3kw per hour when connected to the power point but without a phone attached. This is apparently a power saving of about 90 per cent on standard chargers, and while the difference seems minuscule, the saving could be substantial when multiplied over the 6 billion mobile phones in use across the world. Also, with GSM partners moving to universal micro USB chargers as standard, Sony Ericsson is contemplating an opt-in scheme for accessories, the option not to include a charger and USB cable to a new phone purchase if the customer already has a working charger.
Naite features a standard suite of Sony Ericsson software and features, including a 2-megapixel camera. Sony Ericsson intends to release this "green-friendly" phone in the fourth quarter of 2009 for approx. AU$200.