Fairphone: Sustainability from the Inside-Out and Outside-In
Fairphone is a social venture on a journey to demonstrate that products and supply chains can be used to create positive and fair social impact. Driven by an understanding that being ‘less bad’ is not the solution, ‘fair’ is the driving principle for product development, supply chain partnering and stakeholder engagement, keeping in mind that the concept of ‘fairness’ is an ongoing discussion and not 100 % achievable. In December 2013, the first generation Fairphone was delivered to the market, to make a statement that a phone can be built while addressing the issue of conflict minerals. The second generation Fairphone is currently in the conceptual phase and will raise the bar for internal and external stakeholder engagement. In order to transition from a campaign about conflict minerals to a social venture, Fairphone is using the story of creating the Fairphone to trigger growing interest from customers, large mobile phone manufacturers and their shareholders. Rethinking the story and facts behind consumer electronics moves sustainability from a contextual discussion to the core of the business. By starting a discussion about the way phones are built with consumers, designers, phone manufacturers and their respective shareholders, Fairphone’s ultimate aim is to eventually influence systemic change.
KeywordsSupply Chain Life Cycle Assessment Mobile Phone Fair Trade Social Enterprise
- BBC. (2013). Mobiles ‘to outnumber people next year’, says UN agency. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-22464368. Accessed May 14, 2014.
- Bryceson, D., & Jonsson, J. B. (2014). Mineralizing Africa and artisanal mining’s democratizing influence. In D. F. Bryceson, E. Fisher, J. B. Jonsson, & R. Mwaipopo (Eds.), Mining and social transformation in Africa: Mineralizing and democratizing trends in artisanal production (pp. 1–22). Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
- CMF. (2012). Crowdfunding in a Canadian context. http://www.cmf-fmc.ca/documents/files/about/publications/CMF-Crowdfunding-Study.pdf. Accessed April 10, 2014.
- CNN. (2013). Bangladesh building collapse kills at least 123, injures more than 1,000. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/24/world/asia/bangladesh-building-collapse/index.html?hpt=hp_t3. Accessed April 28, 2014.
- Economist. (2009). Planned obsolescence http://www.economist.com/node/13354332. Accessed May 13, 2014.
- EUROPA. (2010). Waste electric and electronic equipment. europa.eu/legislation_summaries/environment/waste_management/l21210_en.htm. Accessed April 11, 2014.
- EUROPA. (2014). EU proposes responsible trading strategy for minerals from conflict zones. European Commission, Press releases database, 5 March 2014. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-218_en.htm. Accessed May 23, 2014
- Fairphone. (2013a). Cost breakdown of the first fairphone. http://www.fairphone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Fairphone_Cost_Breakdown_and_Key_Sept2013.pdf. Accessed May 14, 2014.
- Fairphone. (2013b) Tin and Tantalum Road Trip. http://www.fairphone.com/2013/11/08/tin-and-tantalum-road-trip/. Accessed November 23, 2014.
- Financial Times. (2014). EU plans voluntary rules on conflict mineral imports http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b4823608-a47e-11e3-9cb0-00144feab7de.html#axzz32YCBWAgc. Accessed May 22, 2014.
- Gibb, H. & O’Leary, K. G. (2014). Mercury exposure and health impacts among individuals in the artisanal and small-scale gold mining community: A comprehensive review. Environmental Health Perspectives, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. http://www.colombiapuntomedio.com/Portals/0/Archivos2014/DepositoDocumen2014/Informe-sobre-mercurio-en-la-miner%C3%ADa_OMS-1.pdf. Accessed May 23, 2014.
- Guardian. (2013a). “Conflict free” minerals from the DRC will only be possible if companies stay. http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/conflict-free-minerals-drc-companies-stay. Accessed May 6, 2014.
- Guardian. (2013b). Toxic “e-waste” dumped in poor nations, says United Nations http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2013/dec/14/toxic-ewaste-illegal-dumping-developing-countries. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Guardian. (2014a). How sustainable is your smartphone http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/ng-interactive/how-ethical-is-your-smartphone. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- Guardian. (2014b). Social enterprises must not prioritise social aims over viability http://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2014/feb/17/social-enterprises-must-prioritise-viability?CMP=new_1194. Accessed May 6, 2014.
- Jeffrey, J. C. (2012). Tungsten is forever: Conflict minerals, Dodd-Frank, and the need for a European response. New England Journal of International and Comparative Law, 18, 503–514.Google Scholar
- Le Billon, P. (2003). Getting it done: Instruments of enforcement. In I. Bannon & P. Collier (Eds.), Natural resources and violent conflict: Options and actions (pp. 215–286). Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
- Lepawsky, J. (2014). The changing geography of global trade in electronic discards: Time to rethink the e-waste problem. The Geographical Journal. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/geoj.12077/abstract
- Melcher, F., Sitnikova, M. A., Graupner, T. (2008). Fingerprinting of conflict minerals: columbite-tantalite (“coltan”) ores. SGA News Number 23. http://e-sga.org/fileadmin/sga/newsletter/news23/SGANews23.pdf.
- MIT. (2014). Environmental risks of mining. http://web.mit.edu/12.000/www/m2016/finalwebsite/problems/mining.html. Accessed April 10, 2014.
- Narine, M. (2013). From Kansas to the Congo: Why naming and shaming corporations through the Dodd-Frank Act’s corporate governance disclosure won’t Solve a human rights crisis. Regent University Law Review, 25(2), 351–401.Google Scholar
- OECD. (2014). OECD due diligence guidance for responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas. http://www.oecd.org/corporate/mne/mining.htm. Accessed May 27, 2014.
- Schluep, M. et al. (2013). Insights from a decade of development cooperation in e-waste management. In L. M. Hilty, B. Aebischer, G. Anderson, W. Lohmann (eds.) Proceedings of the First International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Sustainability. ETH Zurich, 14–16 February 2013, pp. 45–51.Google Scholar
- Seay, L. E. (2012, January) What’s wrong with Dodd-Frank 1502? Center for Global Development (Working Paper 284). http://www.cgdev.org/files/1425843_file_Seay_Dodd_Frank_FINAL.pdf.
- Solutions Network. (2014a). Conflict free tin initiative. http://solutions-network.org/site-cfti/. Accessed April 10, 2014.
- Solutions Network. (2014b). Solutions for hope: A platform to support responsible sourcing, peacebuilding, and community development. http://solutions-network.org/site-solutionsforhope/. Accessed April 10, 2014.
- StEP. (2014). What is e-waste http://www.step-initiative.org/index.php/Initiative_WhatIsEwaste.html. Accessed April 25, 2014.
- TED. (2011). How i built a toaster–From scratch. http://www.ted.com/talks/thomas_thwaites_how_i_built_a_toaster_from_scratch.html. Accessed April 10, 2014.
- TIME. (2013). More people have cell phones than toilets, U.N. study shows. http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/03/25/more-people-have-cell-phones-than-toilets-u-n-study-shows/. Accessed May 14, 2014.
- UNEP. (2011). Basel convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal. http://www.basel.int/Portals/4/Basel%20Convention/docs/text/BaselConventionText-e.pdf. Accessed April 11, 2014.
- US Government Printing Office. (2010). Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-111publ203/html/PLAW-111publ203.htm. Accessed May 14, 2014.
- Waag Society. (2014). Organisation. http://waag.org/en/organisation. Accessed April 8, 2014.
- WHO. (2013). Mercury and health. Fact sheet No. 361. http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs361/en/. Accessed April 10, 2014.