Good Business

We won a GLOMO at MWC ’24… and more

Good Business

We couldn’t have asked for a better ending at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As a Fairphone supporter, you’ll be happy to know that we just won a GLOMO for ‘Best Mobile Innovation for Climate Action’! Judged by prominent experts in the mobile sector, making it to the GLOMOs shortlist in itself is a matter of pride. It is a huge mark of respect from contemporaries within the industry, lauding our commitment to sustainability. 

“But wait. What are the GLOMOs?”

Hollywood has the Oscars. The smartphone industry has the GLOMOs. Short for Global Mobile Awards, the GLOMOs are awarded at the annual Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest connectivity summit discussing all things smartphone, hosted by GSMA. That’s the world’s biggest network operator lobby, by the way, with over 750 network carriers worldwide accredited as full-time members. To sum it up, this is THE award you want to pick up if you work in telecommunications… and this year, we did.

Fairphone won a GLOMO for the “Best Mobile Innovation for Climate Action”, an award category for companies focused on innovative environmental initiatives to tangibly reduce or offset CO2 emissions. For us, this is something that is baked into all our products; that’s why we push for our products to be climate-conscious. How do we do this?

Avoiding emissions: 70% of a smartphone’s carbon emissions happen during its production stage. So we figured the best way to cut down emissions is to make fewer phones, and instead, design the ones we do make to last way longer than the average phone. Device longevity is something we care deeply about. It’s the reason why we push for repairable, modular design that allows users to hold on to their devices for much longer. It’s also the reason why we offer extended warranties for up to five years, and extra-long windows for software and hardware support for as long as possible. The Fairphone 5 is currently looking at least eight years of software support. 

Reducing emissions: There’s a reason why we opt for recycled materials in our production. This reduces the pressure on fast-depleting resources and actively does away with the carbon footprint of sourcing materials from scratch. We also work with Fairphone 5 suppliers to set climate targets and reduce emissions in their production processes. By the launch of Fairphone 5, our battery pack supplier succeeded in setting carbon reduction targets with the Science Based Targets initiative and will use 100% renewable energy from 2024 to power the factory in which the Fairphone 5 batteries are produced. Our final assembly manufacturer produces Fairphone 5 using renewable energy from certified sources through renewable energy credits. These are all part of the goal we set for ourselves in 2022 to achieve Net Zero by 2045

Contributing to climate projects: For every product we make, there are certain unavoidable CO2 emissions that occur. We account for these by investing in Gold Standard certified projects in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo aimed at reducing CO2 emissions. Gold Standard sets the highest requirements for emission reduction projects to get certified. The amount to which we finance these projects matches the remaining CO2 emissions created by the lifecycle (production, shipping, use, and waste management when they’re end-of-life) of the phone, something we track with proper life cycle assessments of our devices.

The GLOMO wasn’t the only thing Fairphone won last week. In more good news, the Fairphone 5 won a MEF Sustainability Award at the 19th Annual MEFFYS awards. The MEFFYS are awarded by the Mobile Ecosystem Forum to organizations that launched sustainability initiatives within the last 12 months. Our over-ear headphones, the Fairbuds XL, also won a 2024 iF Design Award this week, proving sustainable design and raising the bar on impact is more than just a fleeting trend.

What was most vindicating about all these wins has been the fact that the industry has taken notice of the work we are doing, and collectively feel we are the best at what we do. Here’s hoping this translates down the line with more smartphone and electronics manufacturers following our lead. 

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