Nokia's smaller packaging and carbon offsets shown off at their booth at CES 2009Photo by Jaymi Heimbuch
Nokia invited me over to their booth to talk about what they're doing to put the environment at the forefront of the company. I spoke with David Conrad, head of Nokia's North American environmental activities, who described Nokia's philosophy about their environmental impact and how they walk their talk.
We know Nokia is trying - that was clear by their decent rating from Greenpeace's electronics scorecard. But what exactly are they doing to walk their talk?A Greenish Booth
Their booth alone had some positive aspect. They used carpet made from recycled PET, repurposed furniture that was used in last year's show, a toned down display so they would consume less energy. They allowed no plastic water bottles at their booth, giving out steel water canteens instead.
They were also asking people who visited their booth to note down where they flew in from, so that Nokia could offset the carbon emissions of their visitors' travel. The goal was to offset more than $10,000. While offsets aren't an answer, it's something, and it's certainly more than most the exhibitors are doing.
1 Billion Users Means Corporate Responsibility
But beyond that, Conrad talked about how Nokia recognizes that with 1 billion people using their products, there is a whole lot of small things they can be doing that will help make a big difference. From notifications on phones when the charge is complete to please unplug your charger to an app that lets users easily offset the carbon emissions of their travel, to getting into the smart home industry, Nokia is focusing on what the impact of one billion users on the earth adds up to.
They reduced their packaging for a phone sold in Europe by 50% and were able to use 5,000 fewer trucks for transportation. Initiatives like that go a long way when we talk big numbers, and they're looking to do that on more and more of their products.
Nokia's We: Campaigns
There is also their "we:" campaigns. From product creation, to use, to recycling, Nokia is working on changing all aspects of their business to be greener, because "we" includes more than just a recycling program. There was quite a long list of what Nokia is working on and currently does to try and minimize the company's impact, and their product's impact on the earth.
Conrad said that working for Nokia's environmental side has been a pleasure because he doesn't have to push hard to make positive changes happen. Let's hope they continue to green themselves up, because one billion users equates to a LOT of corporate responsibility that needs to be taken seriously.
More on CES 2009:
CES 2009: Schwinn's Tailwind Bike Uses Exclusive Toshiba Battery Tech (Video)
CES 2009: Motorola Launches The First Carbon Neutral Cell Phone
Are Green Gadgets Really Greener This Year At CES?
CES 2009: Christopher Knight Helps Kick off Green Plug's First Product
CES 2009: The Greener Gadgets Wild Goose Chase
CES 2009: Fuji Rolls Out Greenwashed EnviroMAX Batteries