V.l.n.r.: Studenten Tim, Laura, Orfeas en Mark zijn op bezoek bij opdrachtgever Marleen Deuss, projectleider Duurzaamheid en Vitaliteit
V.l.n.r.: Studenten Tim, Laura, Orfeas en Mark zijn op bezoek bij opdrachtgever Marleen Deuss, projectleider Duurzaamheid en Vitaliteit

Making a sustainable difference with your mobile phone: 'Is something broken? Replace that part and not the whole phone'

Mark, Tim, Orfeas and Laura are all studying a different master's degree. Because of their shared passion for sustainability, they met in class for the Environmental Life Cycle course. There, they conducted research for ROC Nijmegen on business sustainable telephone policy.

That the earth remains a livable place for current and future generations. That is the goal of student Mark Rietvelt. 'I eat vegan as much as possible and I prefer to buy things second-hand.'

After completing his bachelor's in Artificial Intelligence, he is now working on the master's in Human Computer Interaction. 'IT and sustainability have my interest. IT could be a lot more sustainable as far as I am concerned.'

He was therefore very happy to be linked to client ROC Nijmegen from the Environmental Life Cycle course, where sustainability is an important theme and an IT issue had to be sorted out. Together with classmates Tim, Orfeas and Laura, Mark researched for ROC Nijmegen how the environmental impact depends on whether you buy a mobile second-hand or new, whether you repair it and how long you use it.

Use for a long time or replace parts

Mark: 'Through literature research, we mapped out what a mobile phone consists of. Then, using the software programme SimaPro, we modelled the 'life cycle' of a mobile phone - from production to end of life'

Mark: 'It is best to use your mobile at least as long as possible. By using a phone for three years instead of two, you can save 30 per cent CO2.'

It is even better to have a refurbished (second-hand) one. Mark: 'Is your mobile's screen, battery or camera broken? Then just replace that part and not the whole phone. An upgrade, such as buying another memory card, is also sustainable.'

Making an impact

Both ROC Nijmegen and the students are happy with this valuable research. Mark: 'Because we students are linked to a client, you really make an impact. ROC Nijmegen is now running a campaign to encourage sustainable phone use'.

Mark, Tim, Orfeas and Laura would have liked to investigate the impact of recycling your mobile phone. 'That was no longer possible within time. However, ROC Nijmegen has placed recycling boxes where employees can hand in their business phones.'

Mark himself looks at his own mobile phone with satisfaction: 'I'm glad I made a conscious decision to buy my mobile second-hand.'

This assignment is part of City Deal Kennis Maken Nijmegen. The City Deal Knowledge Making Nijmegen aims to accelerate the resolution of social issues in the city by involving researchers, teachers and students on a large scale.

You have a part to play

Our society is facing major challenges. Radboud University wants to contribute to a healthy, free world with equal chances for everyone. With 'Je bent nodig' (You have a part to play), Radboud University aims to reach people who want to contribute to that goal. Would you like to actively contribute or read more about sustainability in our education and research?

Visit https://www.jebentnodig.nl/en for more information.

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Corporate Communication