New High-Tech Rating Published

New High-Tech Rating Published

Smartphone production remains a critical issue: labour rights are violated, the environment is damaged, even military conflicts and wars are financed. These are the results of a recent study by “Brot für die Welt” and “Fastenopfer”. 10 major manufacturers of smartphones, tablets and computers were evaluated in terms of labour rights, environment and conflict minerals. Even though progress has been made in recent years (mainly in containing ecological damages), working conditions in Africa and the Far East are still lamentable.

It is very good that attention is being drawn to this subject through a well-built website (http://www.hightech-rating.ch/). The study wants consumers to be more critical when choosing new products as their purchasing choices will influence manufacturers.

That’s right. And it gets even better.

Fairphone (which unfortunately was not part of the ranking) demonstrates another, alternative smartphone production. Michael D’heur recently published articles on this topic in various German magazines (Markt & TechnikWirtschaftsWoche Green).

“Fair” means a production with less conflict materials and with better working conditions in the Congo (raw materials) and China (manufacturing). Initially created as a campaign with the aim to evaluate the possibilities of sustainable smartphone production by the nonprofit organisation Waag Society in Amsterdam, the project has now become a successful social enterprise.

The phones are selling like hot cakes – and all established smartphone manufacturers started to communicate with them in order to learn from this business model.

This post is also available in: German