CSM: Paving the way for sustainable consumption of smartphones

2020-10-13 How can the smartphone industry become part of the circular economy? On 2 October, over 30 company representatives from the entire smartphone value chain met online at the Centre for Sustainability Management of the Faculty of Sustainability to work on tangible strategies for sustainable consumption of smartphones.

The workshop focused on the EU's key objectives regarding smartphones: increasing resource productivity and implementing EU-wide take-back systems and a "right to repair". How exactly can this be put into practice? Since 2016, experts of the Innovation Network Sustainable Smartphones (INaS) at Leuphana University Lüneburg and Johannes Kepler University Linz have been working together on the innovative interlocking of product design and services. The principle of modular product design plays a key role here, e.g. parts such as the display or battery can be replaced quickly and easily. To support users in this, however, simple repair and take-back services must be implemented and incentives for sustainable use must be created.

"Despite existing knowledge on how to transform the smartphone industry, manufacturers and stakeholders need to adapt, establish new processes and offer services", explain Ferdinand Revellio and Clara Amend, organisers of the event, "furthermore, although the New Circular Economy Action Plan is a step forward at EU level, policymakers are now called upon to introduce new tangible guidelines for e.g. repair-friendliness of devices or mandatory take-back systems".


  • Clara Amend, M.Sc.
  • Ferdinand Revellio, M.Sc.