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A call with Carbon Neutrality - Thematic Report, July

by Elina Haber | 31-07-2021 07:24 recommendations 0

The humanity has went through many ages, like the scientific revolution followed by an industrial development, where factories first started opening. Accordingly, employment opportunities increased making more and more products and money. On the flip side, this revolution harms our environment due to the released greenhouses coming from electricity, factories, and due to other important things. Next came the atomic age, and lastly the current digital age, specialized in the invention of the internet. As the Earth became more populated, more electronics were needed in the market. Therefore, companies like Apple have developed this sector with their outstanding devices. However, the production of these objects is releasing CO2 without reversing its impact, which means without a carbon balance. So, how can digital businesses practice carbon neutrality?

First and foremost, carbon neutrality refers to a general equation: CO2 emitted = CO2 absorbed. Hence, no new carbon dioxide is released in the atmosphere. The main reason for greenhouse emissions is burning fossil fuels then used to produce temporary and ineffective energy. In fact, ICT states that all non-renewable energy is the primary reason for global warming, being the source of more than 80% of the world's electricity. Furthermore, producing the main energy sources (Coal, Nuclear, Natural Gas) costs less than the production of renewable energy (Hydro Power, Solar Panels, Wind) when measured, considering the efficiency on the long run. Back to the main topic, because powering digital companies is releasing CO2, those need to switch to efficient renewable energy.

Secondly, to understand how digital companies can go carbon neutral, we need to understand how they contribute to climate change. Let's go briefly inside our smartphones and see its ingredients origins: they are fabriqued with 16 rare metals extracted with open pit mining causing destruction of habitat and forests. Thus, more carbon dioxide is expected to be released due to the open pit mining. On the market side, these businesses want profit, to attain their goals, they keep updating their services and mobiles to attract more customers. New models, new e-waste, which is very likely to be dumped, then these toxic chemicals will be burned, again the device's production is emitting more CO2 than it is absorbing. Add to that the "Replace, dont repair" mentality, which contributes to the e-waste levels.

Did you know? As of 2021, a legion of 4.88 billion people are mobile phone users. So, smartphones are on the top of the market and it is a real challenge to reduce the harm of such topper companies. While I was browsing the internet, I was happy to find out that Apple has a goal of going carbon neutral by 2030! They are likely going to successfully complete this mission. Here's how: replanting the forests cleared, relying on renewable energy only, ensuring the safety of the chemicals, etc. Earlier this year, Apple shocked the world by shifting the iPhone 12 without chargers. Evidently, this act has lessened e-waste and the CO2e. Another great news is that other developers are trying to produce smartphones in the most sustainable way possible, like fairphones. The problem is not solved yet, we as phone users, should support eco-friendly applications and browsers like Forests and Ecosia! 

I'm hoping that the steps taken by each digital company will be eco-friendly, until then we must come up with solutions to improve the society's awareness on electronic products. Besides, after reaching a net-zero carbon dioxide balance, how will we get rid of the CO2 previously emitted in the atmosphere? 

-I enjoyed learning about carbon neutrality! Thank you so much for the interesting theme, besides I found it difficult to understand energy and technology in the digital age! 

Works used are sited below:
What's inside a smartphone? https://youtu.be/eIdJ22AfsO8 
ICT https://www.ictworks.org/digital-technologies-climate-change-problem/
Apple plans to go carbon neutral  

Phone Call with Carbon Neutrality

Elina Haber

  • Lebanon E-gen Ambassador Elina Haber


Elina  Haber

  • Elina Haber says :
    Hey Yuseon, I hope you are doing well :) Thank you for your time and work put into guiding us through this Ambassador term! To answer your question, yes I made this photo using Phonto
    Posted 15-08-2021 20:01

Yuseon Mentor

  • Yuseon Mentor says :
    Hi Elina,

    This is your mentor Yuseon:D

    I recently saw an article stating that iphone 13 might put itself outside the world without
    any chargers. I first thought this might be just part of trying to cell their no-cord chargers.
    But actually, this would be an important part for reducing carbon.

    Is the image used in the report made by yourself? It seems quite appropriate since your
    report was about electric devices and how the companies could use smart polices for them.

    Thanks for sharing:)

    Posted 12-08-2021 14:41

Debbie Mentor

  • Debbie Mentor says :
    Dear Elina,

    This is your mentor Debbie. :)
    Thanks for sharing with us about how the tech industry is responding to Carbon Neutrality 2050. About Apple removing chargers and hence reducing e-waste though.. I'm worried that some companies are taking "reducing waste" as a good excuse for not providing a price-worthy product. Chargers are consumables that will eventually become out of order. I think Apple should have at least given consumers a choice of chargers. :)

    Posted 02-08-2021 01:16

Bindu Dhakal

  • Bindu Dhakal says :
    Hello Elina,
    Hope you are doing great,
    Thank you so much for your informative report,
    Keep writing, keep shining,
    Green Cheers,

    Posted 31-07-2021 20:53

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