Hyderabad: The next time the thought of upgrading the smartphone to its newer version comes up, you could just ignore it as getting it repaired would not just save some money but also the planet.
For every phone or SMS or email conversation done, or for every audio or video uploaded or downloaded, or for every game played, there is a data centre to facilitate it. This centre with a lot of servers (hardware) utilises huge amounts of electricity and generates a lot of heat.
Technology giants like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft among others have large data centres providing software services on the smartphone.
According to a latest study, smartphones and data centres would prove to be the most damaging by 2040. The research ‘Assessing ICT global emissions footprint: Trends to 2040 and recommendations’ by Mc Master University found that the information and communication technology (ICT) industry would account for as much as 14 per cent of the total global carbon footprint by 2040 when it represented just 1 per cent in 2007, and has already tripled.
Even though there is a shift from big computers and large screens to small ones, the overall impact of PCs, laptops, monitors, smartphones and serv-ers cause more damage to environment. Energy consumption of a smartphone is going to be more than that of PCs and laptops. Though their operation do not require much energy, most of their emission impact come from making of the phone.
According to Cyber Media Research, smart phone penetration in India is going to increase by 45 per cent towards 2018 end, when it is currently 42.2 per cent.
“Consumerism is one of the main causes for increasing carbon footprints. Today one might say, save trees, conserve water, which are medication to repair a damaged situation. Consumerism is a disease and is root cause for this increasing contribution of ICT to carbon footprint,” said environmentalist Kaajal Maheshwari.
Experts said it is a vicious circle because some of these new features were already there since long. “It is their business model to sell their phone and do not care where the e-waste is dumped. It is up to human beings to realise what is happening instead of being carried away by status that phones offer,” said Ms Maheshwari...