字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Out of the mines of conflict, an awareness campaign was born. One that sought to change the minds of millions and craft a better, more fairer phone industry. The campaigners worked hard to raise consciousness and change the minds of phone users. They established workshops that explained the complexities and horrors of a smartphone supply chain, and encouraged the public to imagine what a fairer phone would be. But after two and a half years, Apple, Samsung, and other giants kept exploiting and polluting. So, the awareness campaign decided to do something a little different. They tried to make a fairer phone. This is the story of that phone. How it's made, whether it's actually a good phone, and whether it's the sustainable solution to the phone industry. This video is sponsored by CuriosityStream, which now comes with Nebula for free when you sign up using the link in the description. Sustainability: The Fairphone, now in its third iteration, is doing something remarkable. Its foregrounding sustainability and ethical labor practices throughout the phone's whole lifecycle. A feat which Fairphone cofounder Miquel Ballester told me feels a lot like “swimming against the streams.” Miquel and I talked a lot about the company, and you can access the entire interview on Nebula or Patreon. When it comes to sustainability in smartphones there are really four areas to consider: production, modularity, longevity, and recyclability. At first glance, Fairphone seems to excel in all these categories when compared to other flagship phones. The Fairphone begins in the production stage where the bulk of Fairphone's environmental impact comes from. The potential global warming impact of a Fairphone 3 is 39.5 kg of carbon dioxide equivalent. That's a little over half of the Iphone 12's footprint. And of that 39.5 kg, roughly 81% comes from the production phase, which encompasses mining of the materials all the way up to the day it leaves the factory. One of the ways Fairphone has been able to drastically cut their impact has been transportation. The phone is currently only sold in Europe so the company is able to use trains instead of planes to transport all of their goods. As a result, they've reduced the phone's transportation emissions by 87%. Equally as impressive is the phone's modularity. Modularity is where Fairphone rises above the pack. It takes 8 minutes to replace the screen and 8 seconds to replace the battery. Unlike Apple or Samsung, the parts that matter aren't glued down, so it's really easy to get into the phone and switch things out. This modularity was so impressive that iFixit gave the Fairphone a 10/10 for repairability, and the new French Repairability Index awarded the phone an 8.7/10, docking points for lack of phone blueprints and delivery time of spare parts. But overall, this is markedly better than the iPhone 12s 6/10 score. And this modularity matters because, according to a third party lifecycle assessment of the Fairphone, the core module of the phone, or where the circuit board and brains of the phone live, accounts for 72% of the global warming potential of the whole phone. That means that if users can just replace a camera part or a battery instead of the whole phone, they can drastically reduce the phone's footprint. Indeed, one of the philosophies behind the phone is “Don't buy a new phone buy a new camera, because really changing the camera of your phone is 6% of the CO2 emissions of the whole device.” The modular nature of Fairphone greatly increases the longevity of the phone, but unfortunately Fairphone still has some work to do in terms of lifespan. At the moment, Fairphone provides support to phones up to 5 years old. Their goal is to reach 7 years, but there are factors outside of the company's control like constant hardware and software updates that are making this difficult “We are swimming against the streams there, with building a long lasting phone.” That's Monique Lempers, Impact Innovation Director at Fairphone, “Certain components become end of life before our product becomes end of life. Also at software level, we have to find workarounds to stretch the software. It's an incredible challenge.” But even after the phone stops working, Fairphone is still there. They're building out a robust recycling and repair network that seeks to not only breathe life back into broken Fairphone parts, but they're also establishing “a recycling program for any phone that you might want to give us. We either recycle it or refurbish it.” The Fairphone itself is made up of 45.1% of recycled materials, which on their website, Fairphone admits should be better. Especially if one of their end goals is to reach a near zero impact. But the sustainable future of Fairphone looks a little different than just a phone. Miquel says these steps are building up to what he calls, “Fairphone as a service.” Envisioning the company not as a phone maker but something much larger: “it's not so much attached to the hardware that we sell, but to the service that we give to customers. You can serve more customers with less stuff. Everything that we have done in having the product more repairable and long lasting would be pushed further. The more we would make the phones repairable the less it would cost us to serve every customer.” So, even after you buy a Fairphone, its performance and impact will still be the company's responsibility. Incentivizing them to make the best, longest lasting phone. A model similar to the bottle deposit systems of soda companies. In short, compared to Apple and Samsung phones, Fairphone seems to be one of the environmentally conscious phones on the market. But what about the company's labor practices? Ethics: Trace any mineral required for smartphones like gold, tungsten or tin back to its source and you'll often find yourself in one of the many precious metal mines in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mines that were born out of the imperialist resource extraction of the Global North and are now used to finance bloody conflicts in the region. These mines, often employing forced child labor in terrible conditions with paramilitary presence are what keep the prices of technology low. In short, the U.S. and Europe gorge on cheap computers and phones and dump the true price of electronics onto the majority world in the form of slave labor, gruesome working conditions, and bloody wars. In an attempt to make a fairer phone, Fairphone is diving into their supply chains headfirst, hoping to change mining conditions and influence other corporations to do the same. Conflict minerals are the very reason Fairphone began, but because “the phone has over 600-700 suppliers. Relationships change all the time. In that context it's quite a challenge to build long lasting relationships and to trace your sources.” Despite this, the company is still making some headway. One way they've approached minerals is by building coalitions with other companies to gain leverage over supply chains. Fairphone did this with their Cobalt Alliance initiative. “For the Fair Cobalt Alliance to exist actually we could not do it on our own. That's why we had to knock doors and convince the Signify's of the world because they have the real volume when it comes to cobalt and batteries… We need more volume to do the things we want to do.” So with the help of larger companies like Tesla and Signify, Fairphone and the Fair Cobalt Alliance claim to be working to assure the eraditcaiton of child labor, create ethical working conditions, and the spur economic diversification of mining communities to lessen their reliance on mineral extraction in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Further up the supply chain, Fairphone recently instigated a living wage bonus for all the employees at their production factory in China. After some research and surveying factory workers on their ideal wage, Fairphone found that it only needed to raise the price of its phone by 1.5 euros or .33% of its sales price to increase the wages. Wages that are now the equivalent of 4 times the minimum wage of the region. While this is an amazing start, especially compared to the wages Apple factory workers make in China, it's just a beginning. The Edges of a Unfair System: Here's the thing, Fairphone is still not as fair as it can be. A fact which the company admits over and over on their website and their founder, Bas van Abel, mentions in a podcast: “If you want to create a fair phone you have to create world peace first.” Abel goes on to add “If you want to change the system, by becoming part of the system, that means that you're going to be dictated by the same system.” Fairphone is doing the best it can in an inherently unethical capitalist imperialist system, which necessitates low wages, ignoring environmental destruction, and exploits the Global South in order to extract maximum profit. Profit which gets shoved into the pockets of the owning class or funneled back into companies to fuel endless growth in a finite world. Don't get me wrong, the Fairphone is definitely one of the best options if you need to buy a new phone, but the point here is this: capitalism has now successfully blended the idea of consumerism with an activist identity, espousing a false narrative that buying ethical clothes or green phones is the way to stop the climate crisis and worker exploitation. The reality is a far cry from this illusion. First, the most sustainable phone is the phone you have in your pocket, which, to their credit, Fairphone repeats again and again in their videos and blog posts. While Fairphone did raise wages for their workers, they still have to operate in our current economic system, which means that some amount of value of the labor being produced from Fairphone employees and supply chain workers is being siphoned off to investors and the owner class. If systemic change doesn't occur, Fairphone will forever be fighting against the current. For the time being, Fairphone is helping encourage people to care about quality, repairability, and ethical practices. It's a lightning rod for companies and consumers to point at and say, “hey we can do better.” As Miquel notes, the phone is an “an artifact for change.” But in my opinion, to truly create a fair phone we need to collectively envision an economic system outside of capitalism. One that leans on degrowth and eco-socialist principles and that allows workers to be fully compensated for the value of their labor and accounts for its environmental impact. The only way towards this is through movement building, mutual aid, and true collective democracy. Fairphone shows that there's a better way within. It shows us there's a way to build and create technologies with an emphasis and longevity and ethics rather than quick turnarounds and profits. But it seems like they are reaching the edge of capitalism, so to find the new frontier, to find a place where Fairphone doesn't have to swim upstream just to be fair, we have to build a new system. Two weeks ago I released a video about Eco-Fascism. It initially did really well, and lots of people were sharing it around, but then views started to plateau and it was slapped with an unsuitable for most ads label. In short, the video was buried. Which is one of the reasons why a bunch of creator friends and I teamed up to create a platform where we can make content without having to worry about pleasing the YouTube algorithm. It's called Nebula and we're thrilled to be partnering with Curiosity Stream. Nebula is an ad-free video streaming platform that allows creators to create without worrying about views or demonetization. Nebula has exclusive content from a wide range of educational YouTubers like Polymatter, Wendover Production, and Me. That's right, when you sign up for Nebula and CuriosityStream, you'll get access to both the full length interviews I did with Fairphone for this video. But what does this have to do with CuriosityStream? Well as the go to streaming platform for thousands of top tier documentaries, including a number of great movies about climate change like Earth's Survival, Curiosity Stream loves supporting educational creators. So we worked out a deal where if you sign up with the link below, not only do you get access to CuriosityStream, but you'll also get Nebula for FREE. And this is not a trial, you'll have Nebula as long as you're a CuriosityStream member. And in an exclusive deal, Curiosity Strean is offering 26% off their annual plan - that's less than $14.79 a year for BOTH CuriosityStream and Nebula. By signing up, you not only directly support Our Changing Climate, but you gain access to thousands of documentaries and exclusive Our Changing Climate content. So if you want to support both Our Changing Climate and hundreds of other educational content creators go to CuriosityStream.com/OCC or click the link in the description and sign up for Curiosity Stream and Nebula for just $14.79 per year, that's 26% off. Hey everyone, Charlie here. Thanks so much for watching all the way to the end! If you've already signed up for CuriosityStream you can also support me by becoming an Our Changing Climate Patreon. Just pledging one dollar a month gives me the financial stability I need to keep making more videos like this. Thanks again for watching and I'll see you in two weeks.