Apple, alongside a Chinese environmental group, will audit one of its supplier’s factories in China for the first time, IDG News Service reported on Monday. The Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs announced that Apple had agreed to the joint audit, which will be carried out at the end of the month. Apple will hire an independent auditing firm that will investigate the pollution created by one of its circuit boards manufacturers. The audit will be a pilot project meant for one factory, but the environmental group hopes Apple will agree to more joint audits in the future. “We think this is a very positive step made by Apple,” said Wang Jing Jing, vice director of IPE. “We hope this won’t simply be a pilot project, but that more open inspections will continue.” The results of the audit will be made available online later this year. More →
Apple on Monday updated the company’s environmental website with data from the past year, revealing new details surrounding its iCloud and Siri data center located in Maiden, North Carolina. Apple’s facility was awarded LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, making it the only data center of its size to have received the certification. “We know of no other data center of comparable size that has achieved this level of LEED certification,” Apple stated. “Our goal is to run the Maiden facility with high percentage renewable energy mix.” Apple plans to power the facility with the largest non-utility fuel cell installation and largest user-owned solar farm in the United States. Due to the increasing popularity of its products, the Cupertino-based company has seen its greenhouse gas emissions increase by 56% from 14.8 million metric tons in 2010 to 23.1 million metric tons in 2011. Apple points out that greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of revenue have decreased by 15.4% since 2008, however. More →
With all of the oil spilling into the gulf (thanks, BP!), the announcement that Sprint will be releasing the eco-friendly Samsung Restore on June 6th for $50 on contract couldn’t come at a better time. Made largely out of recycled materials, the Restore contains low levels of hazardous materials and will be 84% recyclable when it comes time to power it up for the last time. Of course what the Restore has in green it lacks in specs with nothing to show for itself but a 2 megapixel camera and QWERTY keypad, but specs knockout specs aren’t what this phone is about. More →
Just in time for the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day, Sprint has announced the eco-friendly Samsung Restore. Following up on last years über-green Reclaim, the Restore picks up where its predecessor left off and throws in more text-friendly horizontal sliding QWERTY keypad, 2 megapixel camera, MP3 player, Stereo Bluetooth and support for microSD cards up to 32GB (a 2GB card is included in the box). As for its actual green qualities, the phone is made of 27% post-consumer materials and its components are 84% recyclable, while containing extremely low levels harmful chemicals like PVC, BFRs, Phthalates and Beryllium. The packaging is completely recyclable as well, and all instruction manuals will be available online to cut down on paper waste. When it comes out later this summer, the Samsung Restore will be go for $49.99 on contract after mail-in rebates — definitely not a pocket breaker. Are you within an inch of being sold but need an extra little push? What if we told you it comes pre-loaded with a “Mother Earth”? Yeah, we knew that’d get you. More →
Not content with Motorola’s Brazilian division handsets, Moto has just recently announced the MOTOCUBO A45, an eco-friendly full-QWERTY featurephone. It’s nowhere near as sustainable as Motorola’s previous green offering or even Samsung’s or Sony Ericsson’s, but 25% of the materials used in MOTOCUBO are made out of recycled plastic bottles which has to count for something. Why? Because a 2 megapixel camera, QVGA disaply and EDGE connectivity sure doesn’t. Look for the MOTOCUBO A45 to hit Brazil in September for 549 Brazilian reals or $293 USD.
Yay green. Sprint announced this morning that it is now the latest carrier to jump on the eco-conscious bandwagon — and being conscious of the environment is definitely a good bandwagon to jump on. Made with 80 percent recycled materials, the Samsung reclaim is a phone that has been rumored to hit Sprint for a while now. Sprint calls the phone “the most full-featured QWERTY phone launched by Sprint at less than $50″ and truth be told, it probably is. In fact, it’s probably the most solid green offering we’ve seen from any US carrier considering its QWERTY keypad, 2 megapixel camera with video capture, Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP, GPS and microSDHC support (up to 32GB). No, it’s not going to satisfy the power users out there but if you know a tween looking for a messaging machine, this little guy is just about as good as it gets. The Samsung Reclaim will be available nationwide on August 16th for an affordable $49.99 on contract. For every handset purchased, Sprint will donate $2 to The Nature Conservancy’s Adopt an Acre program.
Yesterday we managed to get our paws on a pic and some details on Sony Ericsson’s environmentally conscious C901 GreenHeart and today, it was officially announced alongside the Naite. Presumably delivered to your nudist colony’s front door by a vagrant hippie on horseback, GreenHeart handsets are constructed from recycled plastic, dressed up with waterborne paint and shipped in eco-friendly packaging. Starting with the weaker of the two, the Naite, you’re looking at a 2.2-inch QVGA display, 2 megapixel camera, 100MB of internal memory and microSD support. As for connectivity, the Naite is a quad-band EDGE device with 2100MHz HSPA although there will be a North American-friendly version with tri-band 3G. As for the C901, its specs are pretty much the same as the Naite except for its 5 megapixel camera with xenon flash and support for the 900/2100MHz bands of HSPA.
Both the C901 and Naite will ship with the EP900 GreenHeart low-power charger — claimed to reduce CO² footprints by 15 percent over the lifespan of the phone. The C901 also will include the MH300 GreenHeart headset that Sony Ericsson says is “made up of 100% recycled plastics in 4 out of 5 hard plastic parts and far exceeding legal environmental requirements.” Look for the C901 in Q2 and the Naite in Q3. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the embedded stream we posted, which will still allow you to view video from the announcement if you missed the live event.
There has been a bit of buzz floating around over the past few days regarding the announcement of an environmentally conscious handset Sony Ericsson is preparing to announce. As it turns out, tomorrow’s announcement is just the first in an upcoming line of green handsets from the JV. Beyond a new image of the first handset to fall under Sony Ericsson’s new GreenHeart line seen above, we’ve managed to confirm a few details. Firstly, as the name of the range might suggest, GreenHeart handsets will sport a variety of green features including electronic manuals (no paper manuals), less packaging, a minimum of 50 percent recycled plastics used in handset production and low power chargers. There is still little known about the handset pictured above that will be announced tomorrow, but we do know it features one touch access to common functions such as calendar, Google search, frequently used apps and more.
Interest piqued? We’ve also managed to get our mitts on an embeddable widget that will be home to the webcast of Sony Ericsson’s announcement. The stream will go live at 8:00am Eastern time tomorrow, June 4th. Hit the jump for a preview and come back around tomorrow morning to learn about Sony Ericsson’s new Earth-friendly GreenHeart phone straight from the horse’s mouth.
Here at BGR, we’ve learned several truths over the years: What happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas, you really shouldn’t eat yellow snow and most importantly, there is no such thing as a phone with a big enough battery. Discounting those first two for the time being, we’re long-time Proporta portable battery users as having that extra 3400 mAh of juice in reserve can be a life saver. Last month however, we were made aware of an alternative option from London-based Devotec Industries and our interest was immediately piqued. While Devotec’s offering holds 47% less juice than our Proporta battery, we couldn’t help but get reeled in by a key feature that no other portable charger we’ve come across in the sub-$40 price range can tout — solar. Needless to say we scooped up a handful of them and went to town. Hit the jump to read our impressions of the Devotec Solar Charger after a few weeks of abuse from the BGR staff.
These days, it seems staying green and environmentally friendly is on the top of everyone’s list. People drive hybrids, recycle their gadgets (the non-sentimental ones, anyway) and conserve where they can. To help consumers, and the planet, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Motorola and LG Electronics have teamed up to make a common rating system for energy chargers. Believe it or not, when you unplug your BlackBerry, Touch Diamond, iPhone or any other phone from the charger, it will still draw electricity unless you unplug the charger from the wall unit. We all know just how much energy we can drain being gadget freaks, but by removing your charger from the wall when your gadget is done charging, you can save tons of energy. “If the more than three billion people owning mobile devices today switched to a four- or five-star charger, this could save the same amount of energy each year as produced by two medium sized power plants,” Nokia said in a statement. So, look for energy saving chargers when considering a replacement or a spare. Now all we can hope for is that manufacturers can agree on one universal charger for all gadgets and devices, but it seems hope is all we’re stuck with for the moment.
Kudos, Best Buy. The national electronics retail giant announced a new recycling initiative launched yesterday that is being piloted in 117 stores across Baltimore, San Francisco, and Minnesota. This new program by the way, is above and beyond the already available recycling services already offered at all Best Buy locations. We know all you BGR readers go through gear like it’s going out of style; are you disposing of your un-eBayables responsibly? Readers in the markets mentioned above can bring their dust catchers and doorstops down to the local Best Buy and feel good knowing that they’re helping the environment. Examples of items that will be accepted: televisions and monitors up to 32″, computers, phones, cameras, and other electronics devices and peripherals. Examples of items that will not be accepted: Televisions or monitor screens greater than 32″, console televisions, air conditioners, microwaves and appliances. Don’t panic if you’re not covered in one of those three citys though. As we mentioned above, Best Buy already has some programs in place that are carried out by each and every one of their US stores. Details from the press release: