Swappie, Europe’s leading online destination for buying and selling refurbished iPhones, has published its first Environmental Impact Report which sets out ambitious targets to minimize its own greenhouse gas emissions and maximize customers’ carbon savings over the next two years.
Carbon footprint of Swappie refurbished smartphone 78% less than a new one
Every year, the electronics industry releases millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. In fact, the sector is responsible for 3% of emissions globally. However, Swappie’s Environmental Impact Report reveals that the carbon footprint of a Swappie refurbished smartphone is 78% less than that of a new one. Making a new smartphone requires valuable rare earth elements, a large portion of which are extracted through mining with significant negative impacts on the environment and socially.
By eliminating the carbon-intensive activities related to material sourcing, supply chain, and production emissions that are inextricably part of a new smartphone’s life cycle, Swappie has created a circular business model with a positive impact. In 2021, the carbon handprint – which measures the positive climate impacts of a product – of an average Swappie refurbished smartphone resulted in 61.5 kg of CO2e emissions, equivalent to the carbon emissions captured by one tree seedling in 10 years. When consumers choose a refurbished iPhone, they extend the life of an existing smartphone while also reducing their own carbon footprint.
Swappie to help customers save more than 100,000 tons of CO2e emissions by 2024
When Swappie was founded in 2016, only 5% of smartphones were purchased used. Since then, Swappie has expanded its community to more than a million people across Europe. By choosing refurbished instead of new, Swappie customers have saved more than 23,500 tons of CO2e emissions in 2021. This is the same amount of carbon emissions captured by growing 389,401 trees in 10 years. Swappie is now committing to helping customers around the world exceed 100,000 tons of saved CO2e emissions by 2024.
Swappie commits to 100% renewable electricity by 2024
The Environmental Impact Report also outlines several ambitious goals for Swappie as a business. Since its launch in 2016, Swappie has experienced rapid growth, with two refurbishment centers in Finland and Estonia, a presence in 15 markets including Ireland, and a team of over a thousand talents.
This has naturally expanded Swappie’s own greenhouse gas emissions. 2022 saw Swappie obtain both ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certifications but to continue to lead by example a digital platform was established to track its own negative environmental impacts. In 2021, Swappie’s greenhouse gas emissions totalled 10,445 tons of CO2e emissions, the source of which are heat, electricity, and air conditioning along with employee commuting and business travel.
Swappie’s key commitments to reduce its own environmental impact
Reduce energy consumption emissions and transition to 100% renewable electricity sources for all Swappie premises by 2024
Integrate innovative e-waste management and recycling systems at Swappie operations: Reuse 100% of functional smartphone parts, collect and recycle 100% of non-functional smartphone parts and other generated e-waste by 2024
Continue to work with the Right to Repair campaign which advocates for a universal right to repair and Eurefas, the European Refurbishment Association
Speaking about the publication of the Environmental Impact Report, CEO and co-founder of Swappie, Sami Marttinen says ‘The past few months have offered us daily reminders of the sheer scale of the climate crisis facing our planet with extreme heat and drought wreaking havoc across the globe. These challenges have a myriad of causes but there is no doubt they are exacerbated by human behaviour.
‘It is hard not to be dispirited by the view of our collective climate future but now is not the time to be defeatist and give up. In fact, the opposite is needed. We need to double down on our efforts and remind people of the collective impact of their choices and how their decisions can make a real difference for the future of our planet.
‘At Swappie, we truly believe that circularity is the way to keep the world running sustainably and we want to empower as many people as possible to join us in our mission. There needs to be more of a focus on how businesses are established ensuring they bring a positive net impact to the world in the long term.
‘There is a real misconception out there that sustainable development and for-profit business cannot co-exist. At Swappie we believe that for sustainability to be the real deal, scalable and good business it must be the default choice. It is our hope that we will see more circular economies in different industries, and we are calling on other companies to join us in our commitment to sustainability.’
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