Nokia's first 3G mobile phone, the Nokia 6650, is designed for recyclability. Thanks to a significant material content survey, the different substances that go into the Nokia 6650 can basically be traced to the component level and handled in the appropriate way at the end of the product life cycle.
Proactive Cooperation across Teams
The Nokia 6650 was developed in cooperation among several teams. In addition to the product R&D team, operations, marketing and sales, logistics and environmental teams were involved. External suppliers, recycling service providers and an accessory team were other participants in the project.
"The initiative to develop an environmentally sound mobile phone came from program management and product marketing," says Technology Manager of environmental affairs Minna Lindholm of Nokia Mobile Phones, Salo, Finland. "The product program was an internal initiative, proactively begun and not prompted by any external requirements."
Work Will Continue Based on Pilot Results
Cooperation has been smooth. Product development of the Nokia 6650 piloted several tools that are now available for other product programs. Thanks to a study of the material content of the phone, battery and charger, the material content of phones using the same components as the Nokia 6650 can now be estimated easily. The material content was duly compared with the Nokia Substance List. Being able to trace the different materials to their components makes it easier to ensure compliance with Nokia's internal requirements. The Nokia 6650 product program also involved developing the readiness to adopt a lead-free solder process. The ban on lead in electronic equipment will be actualized on 1st July 2006 in EU.
Analyzing Cost Effects
Recycling costs for different logistic and recycling alternatives were calculated by using information on the material content and the cost of its recycling. The cost of manual disassembly and crushing were then compared with the help of Nokia's Design for Disassembly (DfD) tools.
All the tools piloted and developed during the project are available and are part of the toolbox for other product programs. "Design for Environment is an integral part of all Nokia Mobile Phones product programs. However, we should put more effort into communicating these issues," says Lindholm. "This can be best done through training and more information sharing. It always helps when we can identify positive cost effects."
There remains work to be done. At the moment the material content of the accessories is being investigated, as it is the use of halogen-free printed wiring boards (PWB) and components in Nokia products.