Smartphones and Sustainability

I’d seen a fairly old YouTube video (from 2010 …… yes ancient news!) highlighting the issues with the raw materials needed to make smartphones, namely Coltan.

And….., so what…… where are you going with this?, you may ask……….

Well, while doing research for our class presentation video I came across another YouTube video, this one made in Dec 2013 on the EXACT same issue.

We have been going on about the oil companies and the ‘bursting’ of the oil/carbon bubble and how these companies are operating without any regard for sustainable development/practices. The example of PeaBody highlighted just how much as a society we are reliant on fossil energy (unnecessarily?) and just how much we let these companies get away with for as long as they meet our consumption demands. The argument is, without a viable alternative (seemingly) they will milk every last cent and make as many billions as they can while they can. Marc also raised the point that they also aren’t that stupid not to invest in future sustainable renewable energies i.e. the baddies of today will ultimately be the goodies of tomorrow. So does this justify their blatant disregard for what happens until the fossil fuels run out?

Now what of the iPhone. For almost four years since the first video, Apple has continued to operate as normal knowing that they are potentially producing an unsustainable, unethical product. But have we as consumers changed our buying habits…….. No. We in fact demand our smartphones and argue that in this day and age it is a necessity (including tablets, portable electronics devices etc.). The same argument from above unfortunately applies to this case whereby a company is blatantly milking the market and exploiting workers and the environment, for until their forced to find another solution or there is enough public fall out (awareness). Perhaps they already have the solution but even up until June 2014 Apple was forced by the Dodd-Frank Act which disclosed that they could only certify 80% of the smelters it does business with in Congo were not sourcing conflict minerals.

The end quote from the clip : “About half the price of an iPhone is pure profit for Apple. Such high profit should not be achieved at the expense of workers or the environment.”

Again, Apple will be the saviours of tomorrow………

Who is letting these resource sapping, money hunger companies get away with what they are doing? Hands up if you have a smartphone or portable electronic device.

#SDCA14 #Sustainable Development

Posted in corporate sustainability, sustainable development, sustainable technologies

The Sustainability Debate

What follows is a somewhat lengthy, but extremely interesting, debate panel on sustainability. Representatives from major American corporations get together to discuss sustainability and the role their companies are playing in it.

Recently, sustainability debates have popped up in many places; from reputable newspapers such as the Economist to social media. This panel is one of the better debates on this issue.

What is very interesting is that some of the panelists acknowledge that their companies are not doing enough in the field of sustainability. The debate is tied very closely to industry and these gentlemen all have hands on experience in major positions in Fortune 500 companies; they are on the front lines and are aware that sustainability is going to be a requirement for the future. Hearing their thoughts on the matter is enlightening, to say the least.

What do you think of the discussion?

Posted in climate change, community, corporate sustainability, food, greenwash, pollution, sustainable development, sustainable technologies, water

The Global Reporting Initiative

Posted in climate change, corporate sustainability, greenwash, industrial ecology

South African companies’ sustainability and the King 3 Report

The King Report issued by the South African King Committee on Corporate Governance. There are three version of the report, namely King I (1994), King II (2002) and King III (2009). These compliance reports are mandatory for all companies operating on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (South Africa), and takes international best practice in mind. The report considers three important corporate governance aspects namely leadership, sustainability and good corporate citizenship.

It views sustainability as the primary moral and economic imperative of this century. The code’s view on corporate citizenship requires that South African companies should operate in a sustainable manner

In the latest version of the report, sustainability is actually not included as a separate chapter, but rather integrated with governance, strategy and sustainability. This report recommends that organisations produce an integrated report instead of simply producing the usual annual financial statement. The report has to be completed in terms of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Reporting Guidelines. King III is applicable to all entities, public, private and non-profit.

A good example of a South African country who is doing this very well, and also generally make the environment central to their business practices is Woolworths, or “Woolies” as it is known. They are on a good business journey trying to make sustainability a reality in all their business practices.

Posted in corporate sustainability

The incredible adventure of Faguo

We heard a lot of things on global warming, sustainability, responsibility,… But are we ready to change our way to manage our jobs? our lifes? our world? Let’s talk about two french guys who have take their life in hand, and launched their green company!

Faguo, it is the crazy story about two young French creators, Nicolas Rohr and Frédéric Mugnier, 22 years old, that chose to launch their dynamic and responsible company.

The company was founded in 2009, and have today almost 100 point of sales.

In 2014, Faguo celebrates its 5th anniversary with 300 000 trees planted in France and in Belgium.

Every year, Faguo calculates its CO2’s emission  to try to decrease it.


Posted in Uncategorized

Planned obsolescence

Hi, everybody

This documentary/film is a bit old but I think it explain perfectly the beginnings of the society of consumption. I think everybody should see this just for general culture. Of course it also adress many topics of sustainable development 

Posted in Uncategorized

The future of energy

Hi everyone, 

This is a very interesting video about the future of energy. Three academics discuss wind power, carbon capture and storage as examples of how we can cut our carbon emissions.

Read more ›

Posted in energy