Fighting Talk: Does an iPhone Use More Energy than Your Fridge?

The mere fact that the manufacture of smartphones, tablets and laptops does not involve felling trees has blinded many to the IT industry's growing carbon footprint.

April 7, 2015 - Two Sides (www.twosides.us) is doing a great job at distributing the environmental facts about print. But Digital media is still getting away with too much when it comes to the sustainability argument. Could that be changing?

Does an iPhone use more energy than your fridge? Mark Mills, CEO of Digital Power, made that claim in a study about Cloud computing two years ago, sparking a furious online debate. American think tank, the Breakthrough Institute, crunched the numbers and concluded that a typical iPhone consumed 388kWh of energy a year whereas some household refrigerators used as little as 322kWh.

As you might expect, such claims have been hotly contested: critics accused Mills of assuming heavy smartphone use and suggested there were just two many unquantifiables — including the level of data usage and the quality of WiFi connections — to make such definitive claims. Yet the furore did make one serious point: whereas the environmental impact of print has been relentlessly scrutinised, the information technology industry has — apart from the odd broadside from bodies such as Greenpeace — been given a much freer ride on this issue.

The mere fact that the manufacture of smartphones, tablets and laptops does not involve felling trees has blinded many to the IT industry's growing carbon footprint.

The full story is available at: Image Reports Magazine (website)

SOURCE: Image Reports