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Noki - Kirsi Sormunen, Vice President & Head of Environmental activities. The world s leading mobile phone supplier with environmental objectives


Kirsi Sormunen, Vice President & Head of Environmental activities, describes Nokia's sustainable development objectives and achievements. In June 2007, Nokia regained the top ranking in the Greenpeace Electronics Guide. This ranking takes into account both the chemical content of products and the producer’s policy and practices.

  •  Can you present your company in a few words and figures?

Nokia is the world leader in mobility, driving the transformation and growth of the converging Internet and communication industries. Nokia makes a wide range of mobile devices and provides people with experiences in music, navigation, video, television, imaging, games and business mobility through these devices. Nokia also provides equipment, solutions and services for communications networks. In 2006, Nokia held an estimated 36% share of the global device market.

  • In the field of sustainable development, what is the general approach of Nokia? Does Finland, the nationality of your company, inspire your policy?

Sustainability is integrated into all Nokia's business activities. As a leading telecommunications company, Nokia has a lot of responsibility, and our aim is to be a leader in environmental performance.. Nokia’s environmental activities are based on a life-cycle approach, taking into account the environmental impact of our products from cradle to grave.. The key focus areas are material management, energy efficiency and take back & recycling.

The company's roots in Finland give a solid basis to our environmental management, and are deeply embedded in Nokia´s corporate culture and values.

  • Can you tell us more about substance management at Nokia? Do you go beyond European legislation?

Nokia´s environmental targets go way beyond regulatory requirements, and they are based on global principles and standards. This means that, de facto, Nokia follows at the very minimum the strictest environmental legislation applied in any region, which nowadays is very often the EU.

Nokia strives to fully understand the total material content of its products, and requires its component suppliers to disclose this information in detail. Nokia manages substances according to our Nokia Substance List (NSL) which includes a list of monitored and banned substances. Substance management is further based on the precautionary principle (see http://www.nokia.com/global/about-nokia/). This is one example of Nokia wanting to be ahead of legislation on environmental management.

  • And regarding the producer’s responsibility, does Nokia have a take-back and recycling programme for its products? What is the share of products that are collected in this way?

Yes, we offer take-back points at authorized Nokia Service outlets and Care centres, and also participate in industry wide collection schemes. Only Nokia’s own take back channels are under its direct control. Operators, retailers, municipalities etc. take back used products where manufacturers do not always have full visibility on the processes or amounts collected.

The number of mobiles returned is still fairly small, because not only are mobile phones considered valuable personal items but they are also small in size and are easy to keep in drawers instead of being thrown away. Collected and recycled volumes will, however, increase as the mobile phone and replacement market keeps on growing. Improving the environmental awareness of consumers is a key element to ensuring proper collection and recycling of used devices. To raise consumer awareness Nokia has conducted several take-back campaigns in different markets.

  • The use phase of IT products is the most energy consuming one. Are you working to improve the energy efficiency of your products? What share of your products are labelled according to energy efficiency criteria?

Yes, improving the energy efficiency of Nokia products is a core element of Nokia climate strategy. For mobile devices in general, energy consumption during active use and when idle is already largely optimized to meet user requirements.  The actual use of mobile devices accounts for about one third of a device’s lifetime energy consumption. For mobile devices in general, energy consumption during active use  is about one third of a device’s lifetime energy consumption. Of this, one third is used when charging a device’s battery and two thirds when the charger is unplugged from the device but still drawing on the mains – a charger’s no-load energy consumption.

From an energy saving perspective, a charger’s no-load energy consumption is an important issue. By 2010, Nokia targets to reduce its chargers’ average no-load consumption by 50%, and its best-in-class chargers’ to a marginal level.

Last year, the company’s newest range of chargers was awarded an Energy Star by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US for its energy efficiency.

The adapters come with many of Nokia’s newest mobile phones including the popular Nokia 6103, Nokia 6133 and Nokia 7370. Nokia plans to add to the list of phones using these adapters and by 2008 to ensure all its new devices have adapters that meet Energy Star requirements.

  • Improve consumers’ behaviour

Under the IPP program, Nokia also drove an industry initiative to include reminders in mobile phones  for consumers to unplug their chargers from the electricity outlet after their device has been fully charged. Nokia was the first mobile phone manufacturer to implement this.

  • How do you communicate with the general public about the environmental performance of your products? What is the impact of such environmental communication on your company's sales?

For a company like Nokia with a global outreach,   and one of the brands most valued by consumers worldwide, environmental responsibility is an integral part of the company image.

We use several channels and our main tool is our Environmental Internet site at http://www.nokia.com/global/about-nokia/. Nokia´s environmental communication is based on facts and proofs of our work and achievements, as well as increasing consumer awareness of key environmental issues such as the proper recycling of used devices.

  • Overall, Nokia has developed strong life-cycle thinking. What are your expectations of this method of product design?

Life cycle thinking is the most effective way to cover the environmental impacts of products as a whole. Product design has an important role here as issues related to energy efficiency, material selection and recyclability are already decided upon at the beginning of the life cycle.

  • And in the future, what is Nokia’s view on environmental issues?

Environmental issues will continue to increase in importance. In the long run, only responsible companies and brands will succeed. Information and Communication Technology and mobile technology can also be used to combat climate change. For instance replacing travelling by videoconference or loading music from the Web instead of buying physical CDs, which are produced, packed, stored and transported. This can make a difference to energy and material consumption. Not only Nokia but also mobile phone users can make a big difference through their own, individual choices.

Nokia will continue to work toward its target to be a leading company in environmental performance.

Contact: Kirsi Sormunen, VP, Environmental Affairs


De facto, Nokia follows at the very minimum the strictest environmental legislation applied in any region, which nowadays is very often the EU.

New chargers are all fully compliant with the EPA Energy Star standard and most of them are far below it in terms of no-load stand-by energy use. Nokia is also adding a reminder for consumers to plug off their chargers once the phone has been charged to all mobile devices.

Since August 2006, Greenpeace has issued three editions of a Green Electronics Guide that ranks leading mobile and PC manufacturer on their global policies and practice on eliminating harmful chemicals and on taking responsibility for used products. In the June 2007 fourth edition, Nokia has reclaimed its position at the top of the ranking. The front-runner has already eliminated Polyvinylchloride (PVC) from new models of mobiles and is now eliminating BFRs from the remaining applications of BFRs – in new flexible circuits. Nokia gets top marks for its support for Individual Producer Responsibility, (each company should take care of the electronic waste from its own-branded discarded products). But, it loses points for poor reporting on the amounts of discarded mobiles that it recycles as a percentage of past sales.

More: Greenpeace Green Electronics Guide

About PVC phase out in Nokia products http://www.nokia.com/A4288185