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.
Improving product sustainability
In fiscal 2012, BlackBerry worked with experienced sustainability consultants to conduct in-depth, baseline assessments of our sustainability policies, programs and product development activities. The Natural Step, an international non-profit research and advisory organization, provided support as we conducted a Sustainability Life Cycle Assessment (SLCA). The SLCA provided a strategic overview of the sustainability of our products, highlighting the ecological and social impacts of current products throughout their life cycle.
To further assess the impact of our products, BlackBerry worked with Five Winds International, an experienced sustainability management consulting firm, to conduct comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies on the BlackBerry® Torch™ 9810 smartphone and the BlackBerry® PlayBook™ tablet. The assessment provided 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, to its use, and for the end of its useful life.
Together, the SLCA and the LCA equip BlackBerry with information to help focus our efforts on reducing our overall environmental impact.
Life Cycle Assessments of the BlackBerry Torch 9810 smartphone and the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet (16GB)
Results from the LCA studies helped BlackBerry identify what we are doing well and opportunities to continue to lessen our environmental impacts. Our smaller packaging reduces material use and results in more efficient transportation. Our distributed manufacturing sites also reduce the impacts from transportation, and our efficient repair and refurbishment processes contribute to lowering lifetime impacts and extending the product’s useful life.
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 charts show the relative greenhouse gas emissions of the various stages of the product lifecycle (based on 36 months of use).
Estimated greenhouse gas emissions for BlackBerry Torch 9810 smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook tablet
Manufacturing and product use have the highest impact in terms of greenhouse gas emissions (figure 1). Manufacturing impacts are caused by the energy used in the production process, which is common for any electronics manufacturing. Consumer use of the product has a high impact because it can cover up to 36 months or more of usage and charging cycles. BlackBerry helps customers manage their energy use by focusing on power management to increase the energy efficiency of products and accessories.
Sustainable at the source
Sustainable sourcing, conflict-free minerals and higher recycled content all play a role in the development of our products. Working with suppliers and manufacturers, processes and policies are established to help deliver more sustainable products and enhance the customer experience.
What’s in, what’s out
BlackBerry recognizes that certain substances can have significant adverse effects on the environment. BlackBerry is continually investigating alternative and more sustainable materials that have higher recycled content or that are more easily recyclable. We abide by an internally generated BlackBerry Restricted Substances List, adapted from the Joint Industry Guide and the guidance of various regulatory bodies.
BlackBerry only uses substances that are compliant with the European Union’s Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive. In November 2011, we updated our Restricted Substances List to include several additional substances. In addition, Beryllium has been banned from all new products and accessories since December 2011. BlackBerry also eliminated a number of phthalates from all BlackBerry products and accessories.
BlackBerry is also working to find responsible alternatives to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in new products. In recognition of the potential hazards posed by halogenated compounds at the end of a product's life, BlackBerry is working to eliminate these substances.
Currently, all BlackBerry smartphones contain less than 0.1% by weight of any brominated or chlorinated substances, including BFRs, chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) and PVC. By the end of 2013, BlackBerry intends to go a step further and reduce the use of halogens in all homogenous materials consistent with the JEDEC JS-709A standard for all new products.
To help manage this growing list of controlled substances and associated regulations, such as REACH and RoHS, BlackBerry is upgrading its internal substance management system which will enhance our ability to track what goes into our BlackBerry smartphones.
It’s more than just a box
Moving toward a more sustainable, holistic packaging approach reduces BlackBerry’s environmental footprint. New eco-friendly packaging for BlackBerry® smartphones, along with reduced transportation emissions, paperless documentation and new BlackBerry accessories, help us deliver more sustainable products.
Less is more
Our compact box design for BlackBerry smartphones is 55% smaller and 41% lighter than previous boxes. BlackBerry has eliminated petroleum-based inks from all new product packaging since May 2012. All new BlackBerry smartphones shipped since June 2012 are shipped with 100% fiber-based packaging that is fully recyclable.
Think inside the box
Printed paper documentation that ships with our products has been reduced and user guides are now available electronically. Lighter-weight paper is now used for printed information and new bands made of recycled paper bind the printed material on most products, replacing plastic bags in packaging.
A smarter way to travel
Our new package design allows for more than twice as many smartphones to be contained on a single shipping pallet. With fewer trips for delivery of the products, more efficient transportation and reduced emissions are achieved.
Small and mighty accessories
Newly designed accessories also help to reduce the box size for BlackBerry smartphones. The shorter and dual-function USB cable allows for connection to a computer for data transfer. The new BlackBerry® 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.
More energy, less waste
One of BlackBerry’s goals is to design more sustainably at each stage in the product life cycle by adopting Design for Environment principles and formalizing energy efficiency considerations in the Research and Development design processes. New charger and battery-saving tips help increase the energy efficiency of BlackBerry products.
A new way to charge
The new compact BlackBerry Charger is smaller and features improved energy efficiency and no-load power consumption (the amount of power consumed when the power 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 meet or exceed ENERGY STAR® requirements and achieve a level V rating pursuant to the international energy efficiency mark.
Charger name Model number Meets ENERGY STAR requirements1 Exceeds ENERGY STAR requirements International energy efficiency mark2 BlackBerry Charger (North America) HDW-24481-001/HDW-24481-002 Yes
V Worldwide Travel Charger HDW-17957-003 Yes Exceeds by 3% V BlackBerry Charger (Australia) HDW-31284-001 Yes Exceeds by 4% V BlackBerry Charger (UK) HDW-29714-001/ HDW-29714-002 Yes Exceeds by 7% V BlackBerry Charger (EU) HDW-29713-001/ HDW-29713-002 Yes Exceeds by 9% V
Get more from your battery
Emphasizing energy efficiency during the design process has resulted in adjustable settings in the BlackBerry OS. With BlackBerry OS 7.1 we introduced two new ways to maximize the battery life of BlackBerry smartphones.
The first is a service called the BlackBerry Application Resource Monitor. The service is designed to help extend battery life on BlackBerry smartphones by closing applications that are using intensive resources leading to noticeable battery drain. By default, the Application Resource Monitor automatically shuts down applications that consume an excessive amount of system resources after a period of time. Users can customize the settings to manually shut down the battery-draining application when notified by the Application Resource Monitor.
The second feature is Battery Saving Mode, a service that extends the remaining battery of BlackBerry smartphones by automatically adjusting device settings. By default, this feature will automatically start when the remaining battery power reaches 30%. Users can customize the settings to adjust the battery power level that will trigger Battery Saving Mode.
Users can also effectively maximize battery life manually by modifying settings for the smartphone screen backlight, browser, media, camera and network connections.
Extending battery life means fewer charging cycles, which is more convenient for users and decreases the smartphone’s overall power usage throughout its lifetime.
BlackBerry offers a variety of options for customers to responsibly
dispose of BlackBerry devices that have reached the end of their
The BlackBerry Recycling Program enables customers in most U.S. states 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, Mexico, the U.K., Germany, Australia, the Philippines, Indonesia and the Cayman Islands, 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.
BlackBerry is a voluntary participant in the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation’s (RBRC) Call2Recycle® program. Participation in this program facilitates responsible governance throughout the entire product life cycle.
BlackBerry also 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.
Find apps for a greener lifestyle
In the BlackBerry® World™ storefront, 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.
Corporate Responsibility Report
Corporate Responsibility Report