150 Words choose only ONE of the articles attached below and write a summary of it in 150 words. The text below is adapted from a report available on the Greenpeace website. Greenpeace is an organisation which aims to bring environmental problems to light and help to find solutions for these problems.
This report is open source and can be accessed on the internet without any payment or password. There is no indication that the content of this report has been peer reviewed before publication. However, the report provides a substantial list of references which allow us to check the facts it provides.
FK Grade 7.0
FK Readability 58.2
< K2000 lexis: 79.5% From Smart to Senseless: The Global Impact of 10 Years of Smartphones GLOSSARY Adapted from: Jardim, E. (2017). From Smart to Senseless: The Global Impact of 10 Years of Smartphones. Retrieved from Greenpeace website: https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/FINAL-10YearsSmartphones-Report-Design-230217-Digital.pdf upgrade (v); to add something new to an old machine or device / to buy a new and better device to replace an old one e.g. I like my old phone but it’s starting to get a little slow. I think I’ll upgrade to the latest Samsung next month. carbon footprint (n); the amount of carbon which is produced by a person, a thing or an activity e.g. If you take the train instead of flying, you will reduce your carbon footprint. rapidly (adv); quickly e.g. As soon as she started playing sport, she lost weight rapidly. e-waste (n); electronic devices, such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets, which have been thrown out. incinerator (n); a place where rubbish is burned landfill (n); a large hole where rubbish produced in a city is dumped. When this hole is full of rubbish, it is generally covered over. smelt (v); to heat metals (e.g. gold, silver, copper, aluminium) and turn them into liquid supply chain (n): the people, activities and companies which work together to make a product e.g. depletion (n); reducing the number, quality or strength of something e.g. The depletion of natural forests around the world means that less oxygen is produced by trees. energy intensive (adj); describing something which takes a large amount of energy In 10 short years, smartphones have changed the world, and have fuelled massive profits across the sector. But we cannot afford another 10 years of the same model. Now is the time to change the business model and get it right. In 2007, almost no one owned a smartphone. In 2017, they are seemingly everywhere. Globally, among people aged 18-35, nearly 2 in every 3 people own a smartphone.1 In just 10 years, more than 7 billion smartphones have been produced. But as smartphones have spread across the world, the race to constantly upgrade devices that is fuelling record profits across the technology sector is also causing an ever-widening impact on the planet and the countries where these devices are manufactured. Examples of this impact can be seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where metals for these devices are mined, often in unsafe conditions. Workers involved in the production of mobile phones can also find that their health suffers because of exposure to dangerous chemicals during phone assembly. Regarding their environmental impact, the increasing complexity of these devices means they take more and more energy to produce, increasing their carbon footprint and a failure to recycle is contributing to rapidly growing amounts of e-waste. All this for a gadget that the average consumer in the United States uses for just over two years.2 And sadly, the problems with smartphones do not end when a consumer is ready to repair or upgrade their phone. Major smartphone manufacturers are increasingly making it more difficult to replace the battery or add more memory. As a result, all the resources, energy, and human effort expended to make each phone are wasted if the phone is damaged, needs a new battery, or the user outgrows the storage capacity. This greatly reduces the lifespan of the product and drives demand for new products and maximum profit. Starting with the release of Apple’s first iPhone, smartphone sales have soared, increasing year after year. In 2007, roughly 120 million smartphone units were sold worldwide. That number climbed to over 1.4 billion in 2016.3 By 2020, smartphone subscriptions are expected to hit 6.1 billion, or roughly 70% of the global population.4 Among 18 to 35 year olds, smartphone ownership is already 62% globally, and in some countries, such as the United States, Germany, and South Korea, it tops 90%.5 While part of the increasing rate of smartphone sales is caused by first-time buyers, 78% is estimated to be attributed to existing smartphone consumers replacing their phones.6 In the United States, the average replacement cycle was just over 2 years, at 26 months. Even though most smartphones still function for far longer than this, roughly two thirds of American consumers choose to upgrade for the latest features.7 Indeed, the current business model for both manufacturers and service providers depends on the frequent replacement of devices. This model does not take into account the long-term impacts of the production and disposal of all these devices— more than 7 billion since 2007.8 Generally speaking, phones are predominantly made up of a combination of metals including rare earth elements, glass, and plastic. Aluminium, cobalt, and gold are just a few of the more than 60 elements used to make advanced electronics such as smartphones, and they are obtained from mining operations around the world, or in some cases, from recycled materials. Plastic is made from crude oil, and while some larger electronic devices contain some post-consumer recycled plastic, this is still unusual in smartphone manufacture. Integrated circuits, such as memory chips, CPUs, and graphic chips are critical components of smartphones. These are made up of silicon wafers, the making of which requires a great deal of energy and water.9 While the amount of each element in a single device may seem small, the combined impacts of mining and processing these precious materials for 7 billion devices, and counting, is significant. The search for ever increasing amounts of these materials damages the earth and could potentially lead to the depletion of critical elements, such as indium, which is estimated to have just 14 years of supply.10 Despite these problems, the majority of the materials used to make smartphones are not recycled at the end of the product’s life. In 2014, less than 16% of global e-waste was estimated to be recycled in the formal sector—much of the rest likely went to landfill or incinerators or was exported11 where dangerous informal recycling operations threaten the health of local communities.12 Even when e-waste is handled by a formal recycler, the complex design of smartphones makes safe and efficient recycling challenging. As they are difficult to take part, these devices are often sent for smelting. Given the small amounts of a wide diversity of materials and substances in small devices, smelting is inefficient, or incapable, at recovering many of the materials, and plastics are burned in the process. Electronics manufacturing is highly energy intensive and its energy footprint is growing significantly, as the volume and complexity of our electronics devices continues to expand. Various lifecycle analyses find the manufacturing of devices is by far the most carbon intensive phase of smartphones, accounting for nearly three quarters of total CO2 emissions.20 Since 2007, roughly 968 TWh has been used to manufacture smartphones. That is almost as much electricity for one year’s power for India, which used 973 TWh in 2014.13 Smartphones have become increasingly energy efficient over the years, which has helped to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced when we use these devices. Despite these improvements, the manufacturing phase remains incredibly reliant on fossil fuels. The vast majority of smartphone production occurs in Asia. China alone accounts for 57% of global telephone exports.22 In China, the energy mix used to power manufacturing plants comes from an electricity grid dominated by coal, at 67% —a key factor driving the high carbon footprint of electronics devices, which in turn contributes to global warming. While a few smartphone companies have begun to report GHG emissions associated with the manufacturing of their products, including from their suppliers, Apple is the only major smartphone manufacturer who has committed to making its supply chain 100% renewably powered. Since making this commitment, Apple has signed two major contracts for renewable electricity in China. Two of its suppliers have also made a commitment to become 100% renewably powered, and Foxconn has committed to build a 400 MW of solar plant to power its Apple's iPhone factory in Zhengzhou.15 The smartphone is perhaps one of the best examples of human inventiveness of all time. However, further innovation is needed to improve our current wasteful and harmful system of manufacture and use. As IT companies have shown again and again, technology and creativity can be used as powerful forces to change outdated business models. Leading IT companies can become the greatest supporters of “closed-loop” production (production which uses only recycled materials) model and a renewably powered future. 1. Pew Research Center, February, 2016, “Smartphone Ownership and Internet Usage Continues to Climb in Emerging Economies” http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/02/22/smartphone-ownership-and-internet-usagecontinues- to-climb-in-emerging-economies/ 2. Recon Analytics, February 2015, “2014 US Mobile Phone sales fall by 15% and handset replacement cycle lengthens to historic high” http:// reconanalytics.com/2015/02/2014-us-mobile-phone-sales-fall-by-15- and-handset-replacement-cycle-lengthens-to-historic-high/ 3. Gartner Newsroom, March 11 2009, “Gartner Says Worldwide Smartphone Sales Reached Its Lowest Growth Rate With 3.7 Per Cent Increase in Fourth Quarter of 2008” http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/910112 4. Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2015, http://www.ericsson.com/res/docs/2015/ericsson-mobility-report-june-2015.pdf 5. Pew Research Center, February, 2016, “Smartphone Ownership and Internet Usage Continues to Climb in Emerging Economies” http://www.pewglobal.org/2016/02/22/smartphone-ownership-and-internet-usagecontinues-to-climb-in-emerging-economies/ 6. Strategy Analytics, December 2016, “Global Smartphone Sales by Replacement Sales vs. Sales to First Time Buyers by 88 Countries: 2013– 2022” https://www.strategyanalytics.com/strategy-analytics/blogs/smart-phones/2016/12/23/78-of-global-smartphones-will-be-sold-toreplacement-buyers-in-2017#.WKcjVJgrKqA 7. Recon Analytics, February 2015, “2014 US Mobile Phone sales fall by 15% and handset replacement cycle lengthens to historic high” http:// reconanalytics.com/2015/02/2014-us-mobile-phone-sales-fall-by-15- and-handset-replacement-cycle-lengthens-to-historic-high/ 8. Gartner and IDC. See Appendix A. 9. Eric D. Williams, Robert U. Ayers, and Miriam Heller, September 2002, “The 1.7 Kilogram Microchip: Energy and Material Use in the Production of Semiconductor Devices” https://www.ece.jhu.edu/~andreou/495/Bibliography/Processing/EnergyCosts/ EnergyAndMaterialsUseInMicrochips_EST.pdf 10. Geological Survey of Queensland, September 2014, “Indium opportunities in Queensland” https://www.dnrm.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_ file/0019/238105/indium.pdf 11. Baldé, C.P., Wang, F., Kuehr, R., Huisman, J., United Nations University, 2015, “The Global E-waste Monitor – 2014” https://i.unu.edu/media/unu. edu/news/52624/UNU-1stGlobal-E-Waste-Monitor-2014-small.pdf 12. Labunska, I., Abdallah, M A.-E., Eulaers, I., Covaci, A., Tao, F., Wang, M., Santillo, D., Johnston, P. & Harrad, S., Greenpeace Research Laboratories, November 2014, “Human dietary intake of organohalogen contaminants at e-waste recycling sites in Eastern China” http://www.greenpeace.to/greenpeace/?p=1835w.greenalliance.org.uk/a_circular_economy_for_smart_devices.php 13. Greenpeace USA, January 2017, “Clicking Clean: Who is Winning the Race to Build A Green Internet?” http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/ publications/Campaign-reports/Climate-Reports/clicking-clean-2017/24 Apple, September 2016, “Apple joins RE100, announces supplier cleanenergy pledges” http://www.apple.com/newsroom/2016/09/apple-joinsre100-announces-supplier-clean-energy-pledges.html 14. Apple, October 2015, “Apple Launches New Clean Energy Programs in China to Promote Low-Carbon Manufacturing and Green Growth” http:// www.apple.com/pr/library/2015/10/22Apple-Launches-New-Clean-Energy-Programs-in-China-To-Promote-Low-Carbon-Manufacturing-and-Green-Growth.html