Jul 19, 2008

Lifestyle - Get Connected with Green mobiles

Global consumer electronics and mobile phone vendors are going green in India. Heavyweight brands like Nokia, LG, Samsung and Haier, among others, are planning to roll out products that will be positioned on an environment-friendly platform.It is the first time that environment as a brand strategy has evolved in the Indian consumer electronics industry. Till now, electronic brands had either used lifestyle, technology or health positioning in India. “At a time when product features are becoming similar and efforts to drive emotional USP with brand ambassadors is getting cluttered, an environment platform helps attract the top end of the market. India is seen as a more attractive environment-friendly market than the US or Europe,” noted brand consultant Harish Bijoor. For starters, Nokia has just unveiled Nokia 3110 Evolve, a mobile phone with bio-covers made from over 50% renewable material, 60% recycled content in packaging and comes with energy-efficient chargers. Nokia has also made all its products completely PVC-free. “We have made changes in the process and material of our products. As a result, today Nokia chargers save 90% more energy, 65-80% of the phone components are recyclable and have reduced packaging by more than 50%. There are business benefits as well in being environmentally responsible. It improves risk management, makes good economic and business sense operationally and reinforces our brand with consumers,” Nokia India director (marketing) Devinder Kishore told ET. Nokia intends to invest further to drive environmental benefits with phones and applications. Globally, it has developed a new concept phone made almost entirely of recycled material, named Remade. The Remade handset is made of aluminium cans, plastic bottles and old car tyres. “Even inside the Remade we have used environment-sensitive technologies that reduces waste and emissions during production. There is another upcoming product based on the eco-sensor concept—a mobile phone and sensing device that will collect environmental data that can be shared with others to increase environmental awareness,” Mr Kishore added. LG has decided all its newer products henceforth will be environment-compliant. “This includes forthcoming launches like refrigerators, washing machines and AC. Currently, all our products use around 90% eco-friendly materials, which will become 100% by the end of 2008,” said LG Electronics India MD Moon Bum Shin. Samsung too is planning to roll out environment-friendly mobile phones in India. One such model will be produced with bio-plastic made from natural material extracted from corns. It will initially launch two models which do not use heavy metals, PVC and are energy-efficient. The company also plans to set up a phone recycling system. Haier India director Pranay Dhabhai said the company will roll out solar panel water heaters later this year in India. Even US handset vendor Motorola is exploring possibilities for an environment-friendly positioning. “It’s also an effort towards good corporate citizenship,” Motorola Inc corporate V-P (mobile devices—marketing) Jeremy Dale said.

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