|A05. Data / Insight
BETC Paris, FRANCE
BETC Paris, FRANCE
WEBQAM Saint-Étienne, FRANCE
|Chief Creative Officer
|Benjamin Le Breton
|Digital Project Director
Back Market is the leading European marketplace of refurbished smartphones. Our company has always committed to extending the life of electronic devices to fight against e-waste. The European Union exports 13.1KG of e-waste per person every year according to an Environmental Audit Committee report. Each year, Back Market offers thousands of smartphones a second life through refurbishment, using fewer natural resources. However, phones’ environmental impact is not limited to manufacturing; it is also a matter of how we use them. According to research (Digital Power Group, 2019), using a smartphone can consume up to as much energy as a refrigerator. With 3.8 billion smartphones currently in circulation, it significantly contributes to the global energy consumption and CO2 emissions. To highlight our brand values, we decided to act and propose a solution.
Describe the creative idea
Most consumers are willing to decrease their impact on the planet but are not conscious of the impact of their smartphone use on the environment. That is why we created CO2NCIOUS, a new tool that reduces your CO2 emissions every time you charge your phone.
Electricity comes from a variety of energy sources (coal, natural gas, wind, hydraulic, nuclear etc.). These sources vary over the course of the day and constitute what is known as the energy mix of your charge. With the CO2NSCIOUS Android widget, Back Market allows you to know in real time the different sources of energy that power our phones as well as their associated carbon impact, every time you recharge your phone. From this energy mix, CO2NSCIOUS is able to inform you of the most optimal times to recharge your device in order to generate the least CO2 emissions in the hours to come.
Describe the strategy
The challenge for us was to prove that our commitment to care about the environment while selling smartphones was real. As we already tell customers how much CO2 they are saving when they buy a refurbished smartphone on our website, we had to go one step further.
While people know that a smartphone’s hardware has an environmental impact, not all of them realize that this impact continues every time they charge it.
In 2007, the carbon footprint of the mobile phone industry represented 1% of the global carbon footprint; by 2040 it will exceed 14%. By creating a solution that can be accessed by most smartphone users on the planet, we proved our commitment of a sustainable approach to the smartphone industry. Instead of alarming facts, we preferred a pragmatic solution through data to empower all smartphone users that want to take action against CO2 emissions on a daily basis.
Describe the execution
CO2NCIOUS is a free mobile app available on Google Play Store, compatible on 80.9% of smartphones. It uses:
- your localization data
- energy providers datasets (to know the mix of energy sources powering your location)
- environmental datasets (to know the CO2 emissions level per kilowatt-hours associated to your mix)
- your phone battery level (to know how long you can wait before repowering your battery)
- and a predictive machine learning algorithm,
CO2NCIOUS shows what energy sources are powering your battery, the CO2 emissions level of you charge, and when to charge it in the upcoming 12 hours to trigger fewer CO2 emissions by using more renewable sources.
Our tool was preinstalled on all compatible refurbished smartphones sold on our website. Our source code was published on open source platforms and sent to major smartphone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung to integrate it as a future preinstalled feature.
List the results
• 2500 downloads in the first 24 hours from USA, France, Germany, Spain, UK with no media support.
• 29324 cumulative total days of use after one month (= 80 years)
• 1.8 kg of CO2 emissions saved on average per user (-19%)
• Open source code sent on Twitter led to more than 5 000 interactions (likes, reply, retweets) in one hour
• 3700+ free source codes downloaded on GitHub in Total, leading amateur and professionals to find new device to implement our solution.
• 0 e media invested
• 56 articles generated in Tech and Environmental media in Europe, Asia, USA and Australia