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Our main objectives for materials are that we know all the substances in our products, not just those that raise concerns,and that they will all be safe for people and the environment when used in the proper way. We concentrate on what is in our products rather than what has been excluded. Nokia is the first mobile phone manufacturer which, in close cooperation with its suppliers, has full material declaration for our mobile devices. This means we can respond swiftly if new concerns arise about substances we use.
We continually review the potential of new materials to improve the environmental impact of our products. In 2007 we introduced bioplastics in the Nokia 3110 Evolve and we are studying the possibility of using recycled plastics in specific parts of the device. We have also looked into a possibility of creating a device that could be made entirely from recycled materials, avoiding the use of virgin materials and diverting waste from landfill. Our design team has created the Remade concept device which uses recycled materials from metal cans, plastic bottles, and car tires. The concept will inspire and stimulate further thinking on how mobile devices might be made in the future. Our research teams have also conceived the Eco Sensor Concept - a mobile phone and sensing device that will collect environmental data that can be shared with others, increasing environmental awareness.
Several countries are introducing measures similar to the European Union legislation on Restrictions on Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) which became effective in 2006. All our terminal products comply with RoHS worldwide.
The European Union Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (known as REACH) aims to evaluate and register tens of thousands of chemicals, and to substitute those considered most dangerous.
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Substances of concern
Our approach to substances is based on the precautionary principle. This means we will not wait for full scientific certainty where we have reasonable grounds for concern about the possibility of severe or irreversible damage to health or the environment. For example, we will voluntarily substitute substances where suitable and technically viable alternatives are available
We apply the same standards all over the world, which means all our products comply with requirements such as the European Union legislation on Restrictions on Certain Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive.
Nokia Substance List (NSL)
The Nokia Substance List (NSL), first released in 2001, shows the timeline of phase outs. In 2007, we published the 10th version. It is updated annually and the latest version was released in February 2008. The NSL identifies substances that Nokia has banned, restricted, or targeted for reduction with the aim of phasing out their use in our products. The list is divided into two sections, Restriction in Force and Monitored Substances. We work together with our suppliers in investigating alternative materials and solutions that will help us fully eliminate restricted or monitored substances from our total product line. In addition, we will give interim updates on individual substance phase outs as needed.
In 2007 we published a plan to phase out PVC in ancillary equipment which is part of in-car systems. We no longer use brominated flame retardants on new printed wiring boards for mobile phones, and we are phasing them out in all new products.
The European Union Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (known as REACH)
The material used in mobile phone covers have traditionally been conventional plastics which are produced by processing oil - a non-renewable resource.
We have been working with a supplier to develop bioplastic - material with similar qualities to conventional plastic but made from renewable material based on plants. Bioplastic has now been developed as engineering material with improved strength and heat resistance. We are the first manufacturer to use this particular material, currently in combination with conventional plastic.
Our first product to use this material is the Nokia 3110 Evolve, which was launched in 2007. The back cover on this model uses more than 50% renewable materials. We estimate that this is 15% more energy efficient compared to using entirely oilbased plastics. In addition there are 15% less CO2 emissions. We plan to introduce more products using bioplastics and to develop material using a higher percentage without compromising quality and technical standards.
Development of bio-based materials which do not compete with food industry is our focus.
Working with suppliers
We require suppliers to record the material content of products supplied to Nokia. These records must be available on request. Our environmental requirements include the need to know, control and manage the material content of the components and parts supplied. We expect suppliers to integrate environmental considerations in their design procedures and to ensure environmental issues are considered in their own supply chain management. We check compliance with these requirement as well as other social and ethical standards through audits and inspections. If we find a supplier is not complying we require them to take corrective action and will check this has been done. We work with suppliers to help them make improvements, offering examples of best practice, training and other support. If a supplier were to refuse to address any of these issues we would be prepared to reconsider our business relationship. Nokia cooperates with certain suppliers in developing indicators for environmental performance of components and materials in devices. Close supplier involvement in substance management ensures fast introduction of new environmental requirements.
During 2007, 15,000 tons of packaging material has been saved by using smaller packaging. Not having to produce this amount of paper also saved 100,000 m3 of water. Packaging has the important function of protecting products in transit from the factory to the user and we must make sure it achieves this effectively while minimizing environmental impacts. Direct environmental impacts depend on the kind of material used, the volume of material used and what happens to it when the user opens the pack and it is no longer required. Packaging also has indirect impacts because the weight and size affects the energy required to transport and store products. Smaller and lighter pack sizes require less energy per product. In 2007, we made progress in several areas in reducing the volume of packaging per product and using more recycled material. Over the years we have been replacing plastic with paper-based material.
Smaller pack sizes
The "letterbox" pack introduced in 2006 in co-operation with the operator O2 was introduced for Nokia's online sales in 2007. As well as saving packaging material and transport energy, the pack also improves service to users and avoids redelivery because it is small enough to fit through a standard home letterbox. We introduced a smaller sales pack in 2006 for entry level products (roughly half our range) which uses only 54% of the previous weight of material and more than doubles the number of products per pallet in transport from the factory. In 2007 this pack was used for 190m products. We further reduced the size of this compact pack in 2007, saving an additional centimeter in height. This has increased the number of products per pallet by a further 60.
In 2007, we also improved the packs for larger models such as the Nokia E Series devices. We have replaced trays made from molded pulp with foldable inner parts. This makes the pack smaller, we use more of the same materials so it is easier to recycle, and the inner material is printable, which enables a more engaging pack experience. Typical Eseries packaging fits 250 boxes per pallet, but Nokia E51 with the new solution fits 450 per pallet. Each sales package also saves 25% in packaging material.
In the past we used a single pack, designed to fit the largest components globally, which meant that packs were unnecessarily large for sales in many countries (the charger for the UK is significantly larger than elsewhere). In 2007 we adopted a new policy of using two pack sizes per product. Additional smaller packs were introduced for three models in 2007; Nokia 6500 Slide, Nokia 6500 Classic and Nokia 3500 Classic. The pack size was cut in half for 80% of our production volume of these three models. This policy will be extended during 2008.
We have reduced the amount of printed material inside the box, which also permits smaller sales packages. The box now includes fewer leaflets and we shortened the printed user guides. Instead of printed material, users can find instructions through help information accessible in their devices (in all S60 models) or through increased web support.
In recent years we used an average of 30% recycled material in packaging, although the figure varies from region to region because of differing availability of suitable material.
In 2007 we began to increase the level of recycled content, beginning with the Evolve 3110 pack in Europe, which has 60% recycled content. The 3110 pack also uses uncoated board, which results in a more natural finish and makes the material easier to recycle.
From plastic to paper based materials We have been moving from plastic packaging to paper-based materials for several years. Plastics are still used as packaging material for example in Nokia Enhancements and Nokia Nseries. Our focus has been to decrease the amount of plastic needed and where it is used we will increase the percentage of recycled plastics during 2008.
Take-back and recycling
Nokia can drive environmental value by striving to return as much as possible of the materials in our products back into circulation (a cradle-to-cradle concept). By doing this we can avoid much of the energy and chemicals that would be used in manufacturing (extraction and refining) new materials for products. By making conscious choices in the design and driving for best recycling practices we can improve our environmental impacts.
The design of the products and our repair network can extend the lifetime of the products and thus reduce waste in the first place. Recycling provides further benefits. Efficient recycling starts by getting the products back and consolidating/sorting/pre-treating them to maximize the efficiencies of the recycling. This is why we emphasize take-back (to get the devices back) and recycler selection (to ensure efficiency and the highest environment, health and safety standards). End-of-life handsets contain many valuable materials which can be recovered and reused in manufacturing new products. Up to 80% of the materials in an old phone can be reused in this way. In the best available recycling everything can be recovered from the mobile phone and nothing goes to landfill. However, our research shows that nearly 50% of used phones are not returned or even passed on to another user.