How much CO2 is a typical Nokia phone responsible for in its life time?

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Ever wondered how much energy a Nokia phone consumes during its lifetime? What about the amount of CO2 emissions? Nokia's recently released sustainability report provides an answer for "a typical mobile device". The answer? 210 megajoules (MJs) of energy and 12kg of CO2 emissions. Given the components and energy profile of a typical smartphone, and the proportion of mobile phones in Nokia's shipment breakdowns, we would expect the company's smartphone products to be a little above that typical average. 

Nokia says that the CO2 emissions are equivalent to driving 71km in an average family car. To put this further in context the average plane passenger, flying from London to New York, is reponsible for around 580kg CO2 emissions. Do note that these figures are estimates and the results depend on the calculation method, scope and assumptions used.

So how does this CO2 emission breakdown over the lifetime of the phone? Well 74% of the emissions occur before you even get your hands on the phone (54% in production, 4% in Nokia operations in the factory, and 16% in transport), 25% during your ownership of the device, and 1% during the recycling and recovery of the device.

Life cycle of emission for a Nokia phone

Image credit: Nokia

But, in terms of environmental impact, it's not so much about the CO2 emissions that come from running a phone, but rather the CO2 emissions that come from making a phone.

Of course, you might also want to consider the savings in CO2 emissions that comes from using a smartphone. The chances are, thanks to convergence, a typical smartphone will eliminate one or more other gadget from your life, or the need-to-buy list. Using the phone can save on CO2 emissions too. For example, drivers using a satnav solution, like Nokia Drive, are estimated to use 5%-10% less fuel (not getting lost, route optimisation, and regulating speed) and the communications and collaboration abilities of a phone should cut down on the amount of journeys you need to take.

Source / Credit: Nokia