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The Ethical Smartphone Solution by: Fairphone

Fairphone produces socially responsible mobile phones. They constantly strive to develop, design, and produce mobile devices that cause minimal harm to people and the planet. Taking steps to create a fairer economy, the people behind Fairphone started by designing a phone made from conflict-free minerals, providing fair wages to workers and offering supply chain transparency. ENVIRONMENTAL Fairphone reserves $3 from every sold phone to set up new business models for safer e-waste recycling.

SOCIAL Fairphone ensures that workers at production facilities earn fair wages, and that the minerals used are conflict-free.

ECONOMIC The Fairphone costs $490, with each dollar accounted for in a cost breakdown. The transparent pricing helps to show the true value of a phone.

But Fairphone is not only about the product. The social enterprise makes production systems transparent in order to address problems and interacts with suppliers to provide sustainability throughout the supply chain. By establishing a market for ethical products, Fairphone wants to motivate the entire industry to act more responsibly and eventually create a fairer economy. Fairphone sold all 25,000 of its initial production run in November 2013 via pre-orders in Europe. A second production run is planned for 2014. Why a Sustainia100 solution? Driving sustainability through the supply chain – on a social and environmental level – is at the core of what Fairphone does as a social enterprise. The company aims for systemic change and a holistic approach to sustainability, focusing on the full lifespan of a smartphone – from responsible mining to reuse and recycling.

Developed: The Netherlands, Portugal, and China

Deployed:  30 countries, including Estonia, Malta, and Poland.

“THE POSSIBILITIES SMARTPHONES GIVE US TO SHARE INFORMATION, SOLVE PROBLEMS TOGETHER, AND CREATE SHARED VALUE CAN ACTUALLY BE A DRIVER TO  MAKE PEOPLE RELATE TO THE GEOLOGY OF OUR DIGITAL SYSTEMS .” Bas van Abel, Founder and CEO, Fairphone


Sustainia Award 10 Finalists 2014