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How sustainable is Fairphone ?

Fairphone & sustainability


Fairphone
Well on the way Click here for score rapport: 23 out of 39

Sustainability summary

Fairphone has achieved the B-label, which is currently best in class. The brand achieves this mostly by its efforts on fair labor conditions. Fairphone is working on opening up the electronics sector for the use of conflict-free minerals and working towards a living wage for factory workers. Fairphone also works on minimizing the environmental impact of the production process, by recycling products, using recycled materials and improving the life span of its products. There are also improvements to be made, such as being more transparent about climate emissions and by disclosing land, water and material footprints.

Brand owner: Fairphone
Head office: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sector: Electronics
Categories : Smartphone
Free Tags: Phone

What's your sustainability news about Fairphone?

Fairphone sustainability score report

Last edited: 11 May 2016 by Emily
Last reviewed: 17 May 2016 by Mario

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

2 out of 6
1. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to minimize, reduce or compensate carbon emissions? Fairphone implements several measures to reduce its climate footprint, like a life-cycle analysis to find 'hotspots', as to indicate where the best improvements regarding the ecological footprint of the product can be made. Source
2. Has the brand (company) disclosed the annual absolute carbon footprint of its 'own operations' (Scope 1 & 2) and has the brand already reduced or compensated 10% of these emissions in the last 5 years? Fairphone has not disclosed its climate footprint of own operations (Scope 1&2). We could not find a specific policy to reduce climate emissions caused by 'own operations', such as office electricity or staff flights. Source
3. Has the brand (company) set a target to reduce its absolute ‘own operations’ carbon emissions by at least 20% within the next 5 years? Fairphone doesn't seem to have a full representation of the emissions from its own operations, let alone set a target to reduce these emissions. Source
4. Does the brand (company) publish the annual carbon footprint that also covers the major suppliers, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce these carbon emissions? Within the scope of a life cycle assessment Fairphone publishes a climate footprint that also covers its production chain. However, Fairphone's reporting on implemented measures to reduce climate emissions in its production chain should be more specific. Source
5. Is at least 35% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? Fairphone doesn't mention its electricity use, respectively the use of energy from renewable sources. Source
6. Do all new products of the brand meet energy efficiency requirements such as Energy Star (where applicable)? Fairphone doesn't clearly specify, whether all of its new products meet energy efficiency standards such as Energy Star. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

12 out of 19
1. Has the brand (company) eliminated PVC in all new products? Fairphone communicates that the production of its phones is free of PVC from the 1st generation on. Source
2. Has the brand (company) eliminated BFR's in all new products? Fairphone mentions that its Fairphone 2 materials comply with the RoHS Directive requirements set for BFRs. In addition, other flame retardants of concern, such as HBCDD and TBBPA have not been detected when tested in specific components (PCBs, filters, connectors, resistors, etc.). Source
3. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least 2 of the 3 groups of suspect chemicals (beryllium, antimony and phthalates) in all its new products already? Fairphone communicates that it restricts more phthalates in the Fairphone 2 (see link), but needs to research further on these chemicals in order to be able to make further statements on this front (see link, previous question). Source
4. Has the brand (company) banned the use of benzene and n-hexane in the final assembly of products? Fairphone states that benzene and n-hexane are not used in the final assembly of our products. Source
5. Has the brand (company) banned the use of benzene and n-hexane in the full production chains? Fairphone doesn't mention whether benzene and n-hexane is banned in the full production chain. Source
6. Does the brand (company) publish its annual material footprint, or alternatively material footprints for each sold product, and does the brand have an effective policy in place to reduce the overall environmental impact of material use? Fairphone has strong policy to reduce the material impact of the phone by making the life span longer than conventional phones. Some results are made public, including indication of weight of single components for its 'Fairphone 1'. But, for its 'Fairphone 2' such an overview isn't published yet. Source
7. Does the brand offer the charger as optional to the product? Fairphone offers its charger as optional to the product. Source
8. Does the brand (company) source at least 10% of its plastics from recycled plastic streams and does the give a timeline to increase this percentage to at least 25% by 2025 ? Fairphone reports that its opaque back covers, the plastic used for the modules and the plastic used on the back of the screen all contain 50% post-consumer recycled polycarbonate, which, according to Fairphone, was the best option available. Source
9. Does the brand (company) source at least 20% of its plastics from recycled plastic streams? See remark for environmental policy question 8. However, some other plastic materials are fully made of virgin plastic. Source
10. Does the brand have clear objectives to minimize the environmental impact of packaging, by reducing, re-using and recycling, and does the brand annually report on these results? Fairphone has a policy to reduce impact of its consumer packaging. But, Fairphone does not report the overall footprint of its packaging materials used. Source
11. Has the brand (company) a take back program and is the take back recyling rate higher than 5% of the weight of the annually products sold? Fairphone has great ambitions towards a circular economy, and collaborates with organizations like 'Closing the Loop'. For every Fairphone sells and brings into the system, it takes approximately three old mobile phones out (see also link, next question). Source
12. Is the take back recyling rate higher than 10% of the weight of the annually products sold? See remark for environmental policy question 11. Source
13. Has the brand (company) an active policy in place to increase the product life-span of products, such as longer warranty periods or easy repair with easy ordering of spare parts? Fairphone has multiple policies in place to increase the product life-span, such as providing consumers with easy repair manuals to prolong the life of their products. Source
14. Does the brand (company) use replaceable batteries in all portable devices? Fairphone's devices are equipped with a replaceable battery. Source
15. Does the brand (company) provide online repair manuals for all products? Fairphone is in partnership with iFixit to provide an online manual for repair services. Source
16. Does the brand (company) guarantee supply of spare parts and software updates for all products, for at least 3 years after end of production? Fairphone implements several measures to extent the life-span of its hard- and software for as well 'Fairphone 1' and 'Fairphone 2'. Thereby, no limit concerning time is defined. Its actually the goal to keep the devices properly usable as long as possible. Source
17. Does the brand (company) give at least a 3 years warranty on all products? Fairphone offers only the normal, legal, two year warranty period. Source
18. Does the brand (company) publish a water and/or land use footprint and is there a policy to minimize, reduce or compensate this footprint? In April 2014 Fairphone's first lifecycle assessment was completed. However, a water and/or land use footprint, are not published yet. Source
19. Does the brand (company) publish a water and/or land use footprint that also covers its most important suppliers? See remark for environmental policy question 18. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

9 out of 14
1. Does the brand (company) regularly publish an updated list of smelters that are identified in the own supply chain? Fairphone publishes information about the mines and smelters it comes from. Source
2. Does the brand (company) have a clear policy to only source from smelters that have passed the conflict-free audits, and has the brand already achieved this for at least one metal/mineral? Fairphone is created to rid the mobile phone market of conflict minerals. Therefore, Fairphone sources certified minerals where possible, and has already achieved this for tin and tantalum. This also means that the smelters in the production chain are CFS certified. Source
3. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 1 initiative that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Effective by January 2016 Fairphone has set up its supply chain of Fairtrade gold, which is used for the electroplating of printed circuit boards. Source
4. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 2 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Fairphone also partners in the 'IDH Banka Tin Working Group'. Source
5. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 3 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? Fairphone does not mention membership at any other endorsed, active initiative. Source
6. Is the brand (company) significantly involved in at least 4 initiatives that addresses the urgent appeal to improve the social and environmental conditions of mining metals and minerals; for example tin from endangered tropical islands Bangka and Belitung, conflict minerals from Congo, etc? See remark for labor conditions policy question 5. Source
7. Does the brand (company) have a Code of Conduct (CoC) for both its own factories and those of its suppliers, which includes the following standards: No forced or slave labor, no child labor, no discrimination of any kind and a safe and hygienic workplace? Fairphone has no CoC yet, nor is member of an initiative that requires adherence to an industry-wide CoC such as GeSi, EICC, CEDEC, FLA or works with SA8000, but has performed an audit in their manufacturing factory against the ETI Code of Conduct. In the ETI Code of Conduct, all these standards are covered (see link, page 11). Source
8. Does the brand’s (company’s) CoC include at least 3 of the following workers rights: 1. a formally registered employment relationship 2. a maximum working week of 48 hours with voluntary paid overtime of 12 hours maximum 3. a sufficient living wage 4. form and join labor unions and bargain collectively; and in those situations where these rights are restricted under law, to develop parallel means? See remark for labor conditions question 7. Also these labour rights are acknowledged in the ETI Code of Conduct. Source
9. Does the brand (company) have a published list of direct suppliers that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? Fairphone publishes a list of its suppliers, covering first, second and some third tier suppliers. Source
10. Is the brand (company) a member of a multi stakeholder initiative (MSI), wherein independent NGO’s or labor unions are represented, that collectively aims to improve labor conditions and that carries out independent audits? Or does the brand (company) significantly purchase its supplies from factories certified by such MSI’s? Fairphone does not mention any cooperation with a multi stakeholder initiative to jointly improve labour conditions. Source
11. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy? Are more than 95% of final manufacturing stage production facilities monitored for labour conditions? Fairphone publishes a detailed audit summary report with follow up actions. Source
12. Are at least 25% of final manufacturing stage production facilities in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct? Fairphone's updated audit report for its supplying production facility Hi-P, effective by April 2016, indicates that there are still some compliance issues, especially regarding working hours. But in contrast to that, several other issues, especially concerning health and safety aspects, were resolved in the course of 2015/16 (see link, page 5-21). Source
13. Are at least 50% of final manufacturing stage production facilities in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct? See answer to Labor Conditions question 12. However, whether the majority of all identified labour condition issues can be considered resolved isn't specified yet (see link, page 5-21). Source
14. Are at least 50% of final manufacturing stage production facilities in high risk countries compliant to the Code of Conduct - including a living wage? See answer to Labor Conditions question 12. However, payment of living wages isn't realized yet (see link, page 5). Source