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Environmental Implications of Service Life Extension of Mobile Devices

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Proceedings (peer-reviewed)
Author JattkeMarleen, BieserJan, BlumerYann, IttenRené, StuckiMatthias,
Project Lifesaving: A multi-perspective approach for extending the service life of mobile internet-enabled devices to reach a resource light economy
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Proceedings (peer-reviewed)

Editor , Rotter V. S.; , Otto S. J.; , Korf N.; , Mählitz P. M.
Title of proceedings Electronic Goes Green 2020+
DOI 10.21256/zhaw-20808

Open Access

Type of Open Access Repository (Green Open Access)


The number of mobile Intemet-enabled devices (MIEDs) is growing. Producing MIEDs requires resources, energy and causes considerable emissions. Extending the service life MIEDs could significantly reduce the demand for new devices and associated environmental impacts. However, whether service life extension actually reduces environmental impacts associated with MIEDs is still uncertain. First, available life cycle assessments of MIEDs suggest that the production of integrated circuits (ICs) accounts for the majority of GHG emissions during the production phase and that greenhouse gas emissions increase with the size of the device and, more importantly, with its storage capacity. However, there is only little information available on MIED specific components such as logic or memory type integrated circuits. In order to quantify environmental impacts of service life extension of MIEDs new approaches for life cycle inventory modelling (e.g. modular modelling) are required. Second, service life-extending measures are subject to rebound effects, which occur if the number of devices being produced does not fall as expected. Such effects depend on consumer behaviour (e.g. re-spending effects) and the rationalities of involved economic actors. Thus, environmental, behavioural and economic aspects have tobe taken into account in order to develop service life extending measures that entail environmental benefits while being both economically viable and appealing to consumers.