Sustainability at BlackBerry

Sustainability at BlackBerry

Creating products with the earth in mind

BlackBerry is always on the lookout for sustainable innovations that meet the needs of the present without compromising the future. Our commitment to reducing our environmental impact is visible throughout the lifecycle of our products—from initial concept to final delivery.

 

Lifecycle Sustainability

BlackBerry takes a holistic approach to sustainability and looks at where we can reduce our environmental footprint at each stage of the lifecycle of our products.

Product Life Cycle

1. Sustainable Materials

Certain materials can be harmful to the environment or human health. At BlackBerry, we carefully select the materials we put into our products, taking into consideration durability and performance, as well as environmental impacts.

Learn more about materials

2. Responsible Supply Chain

As a global company, our supply chain operations reach many parts of the globe and a diverse range of communities. We are committed to ensuring that our supply chain is managed  in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Learn more about BlackBerry’s supply chain social responsibility activities

3. New Product Realization

Our ISO 14001 Environmental Management System and other corporate programs help us reduce the environmental impacts of our new product realization and corporate operations.

Learn more about corporate programs

4. Packaging and Distribution

Our efforts to reduce the environmental footprint of BlackBerry packaging has resulted in the more sustainable distribution  and delivery  of our products.

Learn more about packaging

5. Product Use

Product use can have one of the highest environmental impacts in terms of greenhouse gases when compared to other phases of the product lifecycle. Initiatives to increase the energy efficiency and extend the life of BlackBerry products help us further reduce impacts to the environment.

Learn about energy efficiency

Learn about ways we extend the life of BlackBerry products

6. End of Life

When electronics have reached the end of their useful life, they can be harmful to people or the environment if disposed of improperly. We offer a variety of options for customers to responsibly dispose of BlackBerry devices to keep them out of landfills.

Learn more about BlackBerry recycling programs

Learn more about LCA

BlackBerry works with PE INTERNATIONAL, an experienced sustainability solutions firm, to conduct comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies on BlackBerry products. The assessments provide an in-depth view of each product’s environmental impacts at every stage in its life cycle, from the materials used in the product, to production and distribution, during its use, and at the end of its useful life. Results from the LCA studies help BlackBerry identify what we are doing well and opportunities to continue to lessen our environmental impacts. The LCA findings are also useful for identifying areas that have the highest impact on the environment, helping us make informed decisions about where to focus our efforts for improvement.

The following graphs show the relative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and primary energy demand of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone during the various stages of the product lifecycle (based on a 36 month life).

Estimated Greenhouse Gas Emissions: BlackBerry Bold 9900 Smartphone

Total greenhouse gas emissions:

  • If disposed of in landfill: 54 kg CO2e.
  • If recycled: 49 kg CO2e. Recycling the device reduces the total GHG impact by -5kg CO2e per device.
Estimated Greenhouse Gas Emissions: BlackBerry Bold 9900 Smartphone

Estimated Primary Energy Demand: BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone

Total primary energy demand:

  • If disposed of in landfill: 822 MJ.
  • If recycled: 763 MJ. Recycling the device reduces the total energy required by 59 MJ per device.
Estimated Greenhouse Gas Emissions: BlackBerry Bold 9900 Smartphone

The manufacturing phase encompasses the environmental impacts associated with gathering raw materials, fashioning these materials into electronic parts and assembling these parts into the final product.  It is typical for electronics to have the greatest impact in this phase due to the sophisticated processes required to manufacture many electronic components, such as silicon chips, memory and circuit boards.

The distribution phase encompasses environmental impacts associated with transporting a product from the factory to the retail store. BlackBerry utilizes efficient logistics and small, lightweight packaging to help reduce our products’ impacts during this phase.

The consumer use phase typically has a relatively high environmental impact because of regular daily charging cycles required over the course of a product’s life, which was estimated to be three years in this study based on the length of a typical service contract. BlackBerry helps customers reduce their energy use by focusing on power management technology that increases the energy efficiency of both devices and accessories.

The recycling phase offsets the product’s total environmental impacts. This phase represents the benefits gained if the device is returned and recycled using the best available recycling technologies.  BlackBerry devices are designed to ensure that recyclers can extract as much value from old equipment as possible and maximize the quantity of material that can be reused. 

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Sustainable at the source

Sustainable at the source

BlackBerry Limited (“BlackBerry”) carefully selects the materials we put into our products, taking into consideration durability and performance, as well as environmental impact. BlackBerry recognizes that certain substances can have adverse effects on human health or the environment, and we support the precautionary principle. To manage the materials used in BlackBerry products, we issue the BlackBerry Policy for Control of Substances in Products, which includes an internally generated restricted substances list for all parts, components, assemblies and materials used in BlackBerry products. This list is adapted from the guidance of various regulatory and industry bodies and BlackBerry specific requirements.

View the BlackBerry Policy for Control of Substances in Products (PDF)

BlackBerry is a member of several international industry committees including IEC, ITAC and IPC that address some of the challenges associated with green chemistry regulations and help to raise awareness of issues within the information and communications technology industry. Through these committees, BlackBerry helped to develop test methods for regulations such as RoHS, REACH and the Canadian Chemicals Management Plan.

What’s in, what’s out

The electronics industry recognizes the need to control the use of harmful substances in products. BlackBerry is continually investigating the use of alternative and more sustainable materials in order to reduce the adverse effects on human health and the environment.

The following timeline summarizes our progress in recent years:

  • July 2006: BlackBerry complies with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS).
  • June 2010: BlackBerry starts extensive review of its supply chain to investigate use of phthalates.
  • July 2010: BlackBerry publically discloses Restricted Substances list used with suppliers.
  • March 2011: BlackBerry starts extensive review of its supply chain to investigate the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs).
  • April 2011:  Phthalates identified by the European Union’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) are eliminated from all BlackBerry smartphones and accessories.
  • December 2011: Beryllium is banned from smartphones and accessories.
  • September 2012: BlackBerry makes commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs in new products by the end of 2013.
  • Nov 2012: BlackBerry starts extensive review of its supply chain to investigate use of antimony trioxide.
  • March 2013: BlackBerry publishes BlackBerry Policy on the Control of Substances in Products.
  • April 2013: BlackBerry eliminates PVC and BFRs in new smartphones. BlackBerry smartphones contain less than 0.1% by weight of any brominated or chlorinated substances, including BFRs, chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) and PVC.
  • January 2014: BlackBerry eliminates the use of BFRs, PVC and all phthalates in BlackBerry products*.
  • By end of 2014: BlackBerry plans to eliminate the use of all antimony oxides.
  • By end of 2014:  BlackBerry plans to increase use of recycled plastic in certain BlackBerry smartphones up to a minimum of 10%.

* According to the JEDEC JS-709A standard specifying a maximum 1000ppm threshold.

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It’s more than just a box

Z10-packaging

Moving toward a more sustainable, holistic packaging approach reduces BlackBerry’s environmental footprint. Compact packaging and accessories for BlackBerry smartphones, along with reduced transportation emissions and paperless documentation, help us distribute and deliver our products more sustainably.

BlackBerry packaging is designed with both sustainability and quality in mind. Durable packaging helps ensure that the product is not damaged on its journey from the factory to the customer. BlackBerry packaging goes through a rigorous testing process where it is dropped, baked, frozen and shaken according to the international standard ISTA 2A.   

Learn more about our packaging

Less is more

BlackBerry packaging has evolved over the years. The following timeline highlights recent progress in making our packaging more sustainable:

  • 2010: BlackBerry reduces box size from 5x7 to 5x5 inches.
  • 2011: BlackBerry introduces 5x3 box size and mini CD for electronic documentation. Compact package design permits more than twice as many smartphones to be included on a single shipping pallet. The compact BlackBerry® Charger also helps reduce box size. The charger can be used with both a BlackBerry® Micro-USB Cable and BlackBerry® Mini-USB Cable, eliminating the need for its own built-in cable and avoiding additional e-waste at the end of the product’s useful life. The dual-function USB cable allows for connection to a computer for data transfer. The result: improved transportation efficiencies and a reduction in emissions.
  • May 2012: BlackBerry eliminates petroleum- based inks from all product packaging. On-device electronic documentation reduces paper documentation shipped in the box. Lighter-weight paper used for printed information and bands made of recycled paper bind the printed material for most products.
  • June 2012: All BlackBerry smartphones are shipped with 100% fiber-based packaging that is fully recyclable.
  • January 2013: BlackBerry further reduces documentation shipped in a box. Introduced new tray made of baggase fiber, which is a waste bi-product from processing sugar cane, and so its use does not impact food sources. Baggase is environmentally safe and 100% biodegradable and recyclable.
  • October 2013: BlackBerry further reduces box size by 25% with a more simple internal design and less paper documentation.
  • By the end of 2014: BlackBerry plans to eliminate all possible paper documentation shipped with the box.

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More energy, less waste

The consumer use phase can have one of the highest environmental impacts in terms of greenhouse gases, compared to other phases of the product lifecycle, as charging cycles continuously draw energy from the electricity grid over the course of the smartphone’s entire life. By adopting Design for Environment principles and formalizing energy considerations in the Research and Development stage, BlackBerry designs its products to use energy efficiently. Extending battery life means fewer charging cycles, which is more convenient for users and decreases the smartphone’s overall power usage and greenhouse gas emissions throughout its lifetime.

Learn more about energy efficiency

A New Way to Charge

The current BlackBerry charger is smaller than previous chargers and features improved energy efficiency and no-load power consumption (the amount of power consumed when the charger is plugged in but not charging the smartphone).

Over the last few years, BlackBerry has worked to increase the energy efficiency of BlackBerry chargers. All of our chargers currently in market achieve Level V, the highest rating for the International Energy Efficiency Mark. 

Learn more about the International Efficiency Marking Protocol for External Power Supplies

BlackBerry Charger Efficiency

Date Released

Status

Charger model

Region

Measured Efficiency

International Energy Efficiency Mark1

No –load Power Consumption2

EU IPP Rating3

2007

Discontinued

HDW-14917-003

Worldwide Travel Charger

63%

IV

0.2

**/***

2007

Discontinued

HDW-17955-001

North America

63.6%

IV

0.12

****

2008

Discontinued

HDW-17957-003

Worldwide Travel Charger

69%

V

0.18

***

2010

In market

HDW-24481

North America

66%

V

0.14

****

HDW-29714

UK

73%

V

0.03

*****

HDW-29713

Europe

75%

V

0.03

*****

HDW-31284

Australia

70%

V

0.02

*****

Global average:

71%

V

0.06

****

2012

In-market

HDW-44303-001

North America

67

V

0.04

****

HDW-44303-002

Europe

67

V

0.04

****

HDW-44303-003

UK

67

V

0.04

****

Global average:

67

V

0.04

****

2012

In-market

HW-47725-001

North America

69

V

0.03

*****

HW-53513
HW-53515
HW-53516

EU, Brazil,

74

V

0.03

*****

HW-53514

UK

73

V

0.03

*****

Global average:

72

V

0.03

*****

2013

In-market

HDW-46445
HDW-46448
HDW-46449
HDW-46450

North America, China, Australia, Argentina

67

V

0.05

****

HDW-46446

EU, Brazil, SK

72

V

0.05

****

HDW-46447

UK

73

V

0.05

****

Global average:


V

0.05

****

1Learn about the international efficiency marking protocol
2The electricity consumed by the charger when it is plugged into a wall socket but not connected to the smartphone
3Learn about the EU IPP five-star rating http://ec.europa.eu/environment/ipp/pdf/ipp_voluntary_agree_criteria.pdf

Get More from your Battery

Energy efficiency has always been a core focus of the BlackBerry design process resulting in highly optimized Operating Systems that maximize battery life e.g., up to 25hrs on the BlackBerry Z30 based on mixed usage scenario. The actual battery life is heavily dependent on how a BlackBerry device is used and therefore BlackBerry Operating Systems include several settings to allow a user to fine-tune their experience.

Users can choose to maximize battery life manually by modifying settings for the smartphone screen backlight and brightness, notifications, screen lock timeout, network connections, applications and game refresh settings.

The new battery usage indicators and power monitoring options in BlackBerry 10 OS version 10.2.1 help users further optimize power consumption to deliver the best possible performance. The features are available under the Settings menu and provide users with a detailed view of which applications are consuming the most power and indicate how to reduce the power consumption to maximize battery life.

View battery power saving tips for your BlackBerry smartphone: http://helpblog.blackberry.com/2013/03/blackberry-z10-battery-tips/

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Longer-Lasting Devices

Using electronics for a longer period of time helps reduce the lifelong environmental impact of these products. Longer lifecycles mean that fewer products are manufactured and consumed over time, reducing the GHG emissions associated with manufacturing as well as the amount of e-waste.

BlackBerry smartphones are built to last, and we have several initiatives in place to extend the life of BlackBerry products.

Learn more
Repair, Refurbishment and Reuse

BlackBerry devices are designed to be easily repaired, containing many parts that professional repair facilities can easily swap out. BlackBerry has a global network of repair centers to conduct basic and advanced repairs. If a module is damaged, BlackBerry’s Part Recovery initiative aims to recover these modules by replacing the damaged part of the module and re-injecting the module back into the parts network. In the first year this initiative was introduced (2012), it deferred approximately 142 metric tonnes of scrap parts from landfills through the avoidance of scrapping a complete module.

BlackBerry encourages its products to be passed from one user to the next, being repaired and refurbished where necessary, and all BlackBerry products include a built-in secure data wipe feature to ensure that no data from the previous user remains on the device.

Extending Life through Software Updates

Over-the-air software updates also help to extend the product’s useful life by providing additional features even after the device is purchased. For example, customers who purchase a BlackBerry smartphone are able to later upgrade the BlackBerry OS to receive fixes and enjoy new features.

Warranty

BlackBerry provides customers with a limited warranty on BlackBerry branded hardware products and accessories. View warranty information by country at http://ca.blackberry.com/legal/hardware-limited-warranty.html

Recyclability

When an electronics device has reached the end of its useful life, it should be sent to a recycling facility so that it does not end up in a landfill. BlackBerry provides its recyclers with instructions on how best to dismantle and recycle a BlackBerry smartphone to maximize the recovery of material and avoid any exposure to  hazardous substances. All devices are designed to be easily disassembled with standard tools and all plastic parts are labeled with the type of resin used in order to facilitate the recycling process.

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BlackBerry recycling

BlackBerry offers a variety of options for customers to responsibly dispose of BlackBerry devices that have reached the end of their useful life.

Learn more about BlackBerry recycling

The BlackBerry Recycling Program enables customers in the U.S. to responsibly recycle BlackBerry smartphones, tablets and associated accessories.

The BlackBerry® Trade Up Program is another sustainable alternative for those looking to upgrade their smartphone, offering customers an environmentally friendly solution for their e-waste. Customers are encouraged to mail back their used devices, and in doing so, will receive credit on the purchase of a new BlackBerry smartphone. Devices returned in good condition are refurbished, which will further extend the life of the product through resale and reuse. All devices not suitable for resale are responsibly and safely recycled. This program is currently available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Australia, with ongoing efforts to include more countries.  We recommend that our customers in other locations check with their local governments about how to properly dispose of e-waste.

Over 380,000 BlackBerry smartphones were collected through these programs in the U.S. and Canada from consumer and enterprise customers in calendar year 2012.

BlackBerry is a voluntary participant in the Call2Recycle® program. Participation in this program facilitates responsible governance throughout the entire product life cycle.

BlackBerry participates in Recycle My Cell, a Canadian industry initiative. This program works to minimize the amount of e-waste entering Canada's landfills by raising awareness of where customers can drop off mobile devices to be recycled.

BlackBerry is also part of the Programa Verde (Green Program) in Mexico, a program that was formed by the National Association of Telecommunications (ANATEL) and member companies to encourage the recycling of mobile devices and promote a culture of recycling.

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Promoting a Greener Lifestyle

BlackBerry products and services include best-in-class productivity tools, including smartphones and professional-grade tablets. Mobile computing features such as e-mail, cross-platform BBM™ and other messaging services, video conferencing, and on-line collaboration tools can significantly reduce the need for business travel and thereby reduce the emissions associated with car, rail or air transportation. This can also allow for more home-office workers, reducing the number of work stations needed in the office—ultimately helping businesses and individuals reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

A GeSI report titled “Evaluating the carbon-reducing impacts of ICTs” provides a tool for customers to measure their own reductions and provides a step-by-step framework for measuring impact.

View the GeSI report

 

Green Apps

Customers can download “green apps” from the BlackBerry World™ storefront to support a sustainable lifestyle, including applications that provide home energy saving tips, identify sustainable transit routes, calculate personal CO2 emissions, locate recycling centers, and more. In BlackBerry World, search for terms such as environment, battery or green to find apps to calculate your CO2 emissions, get home energy efficiency tips and locate recycling centers.

Browse for apps online

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