Microsoft Touts Lumia's Eco-Friendliness

The Nokia Lumia line of candy-colored smartphones has a variety of hues, but each device is green on the inside, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft Lumia

Microsoft's embrace of environmentally friendly practices extends to its newly acquired Nokia handset business.

Lumia smartphones, which run the Windows Phone mobile operating system from Microsoft, not only contain energy-saving features like Battery Sense, but they are also eco-friendly devices in their own right, according to the company. Microsoft completed the acquisition of the Lumia smartphone line, along with the rest of Nokia's hardware business, in April.

"The Lumia smartphones that you own are made using renewable materials and smart packaging," said Microsoft spokesperson Nishtha Arora in a company blog post. "In fact, to further improve the energy-saving features, you receive energy-efficient chargers when you buy a Lumia."

Microsoft's use of renewable materials includes bio plastics and bio paints, along with recycled metals and plastics, according to the company. The same commitment to the environment also encompasses the box that the devices arrive in.

"We have reduced content inside the packaging, which has allowed us to pack our products in a minimized package," states the company on Nokia's Website. "The packages are also made of renewable, 100 percent recyclable material."

As proof of the company's dedication to sustainable mobile products, Nokia publishes "eco profiles" for its devices.

According to the critically hailed Nokia Lumia 1520's profile, its interior contains recycled metals and its case includes recycled plastics. Further, the 1520 is free of harmful materials like brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

All told, "the estimated environmental impact of this device equals driving 233 km in a typical family car," informed Microsoft. And in a nod to its support of stretching the useful life of gadgets, the company noted that the device "has scratch resistant glass screen for enhanced durability."

Earlier this month, Microsoft teamed with iFixit, the popular electronics repair Website and parts store, to establish a new program called the Pro Tech Network. The free program provides guides and other resources aimed at helping handy entrepreneurs establish their own smartphone, tablet and PC repair businesses.

"Some studies have suggested that you would need to use a tablet or phone for tens of years before the usage footprint was larger than the manufacturing footprint," stated Josh Henretig, a Microsoft director of environmental sustainability and spokesperson. "With this in mind, anything that can be done to extend the life of these smaller, low-power devices can have a positive environmental benefit."

In March, Microsoft announced that its supply chain for hardware and packaging had been certified ISO 14001-compliant. "ISO 14001 is an internationally recognized framework for organizations to strategically manage and continuously improve their environmental performance," explained Henretig.

"Demonstrating the link between people, profits and the planet, the certification also provides our customers and other stakeholders with the objective assurance that Microsoft is responsibly managing the environmental impacts of our hardware and packaging products," he added.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...