Samsung and Deutsche Telekom announced a mass market green 5G phone and additional sustainability efforts to address the growing call from Millennials and Gen Z consumers for environmentally responsible and sustainable products.
The companies will also be expanding and relaunching their smartphones to extend their lifecycles. circular economy of refurbished phones. In addition, they are developing a joint concept to compensate for costs incurred in recycling used devices, and Samsung is making efforts to make its device portfolio more sustainable overall.
Sustainability drive can future-proof brands
With a green 5G phone and sustainability initiatives extending the lifecycle of smartphones, Samsung and Deutsche Telekom are targeting a future generation of consumers with growing purchase power. Increasingly referred to as Generation Green, Millennials and Gen Z are eco-conscious to the point of altering their purchasing behaviors to favor sustainable products. Companies that address this issue and publically commit to sustainability are future-proofing their brands.
Consumer electronics with short lives, such as smartphones, do not lend themselves well to sustainability and eco-friendliness. Rival Apple already devotes large chunks of its keynotes to sustainability and has pledged to be 100% carbon neutral for its supply chain and products by 2030.
Green 5G phone is a step forward
Samsung is only one major OEM making a sustainable green 5G phone with one European operator. Unless this becomes a norm on a global scale with mass cooperation “green phones” will remain a marketing tactic. Although 5G phones will be the revenue drivers for OEMs and operators in the coming decade, mass market adoption of 5G is still a few years away.
Europe leads the world in e-waste recycling, and it is no surprise that sustainability practices are emerging from this region. Companies who address sustainability and are able to well articulate it to Millennials and Gen Z will have a head start with future consumer loyalty.
These efforts by Samsung and Deutsche Telekom are a part of Europe’s Eco Rating consortium to create a common standard on smartphone sustainability, and a step in the right direction. We will see more such initiatives emerging from different parts of the world in the next five years as 5G gains a mainstream hold, and a new generation of environmentally conscious consumers comes of age with increasing purchase power.