SE launches ‘GreenHeart’ phones


Sony Ericsson is to release its C901 ‘GreenHeart’ environmentally-focussed handset in the UK at the end of this month.

The Cybershot handset features a five megapixel camera and is to replace the C901, which was not released in the UK.

The C901’s casing is made from 50 per cent recycled plastics sourced from old water bottles and CDs. It features an optimised display light sensor that uses less energy, and a WalkMate application that encourages the user to walk more by counting their footsteps.

It will ship in a box that is about a quarter of the size of a conventional mobile phone box as it contains just the phone and charger – the manual is embedded into the phone. Sony Ericsson claims this move will reduce the handset’s paper usage by 90 per cent and the carbon emissions over its lifetime by 15 per cent compared with the original C902.

Pricing and network availability has yet to be confirmed, although Sony Ericsson said it would be ‘mid-range’ and comparable to the C902, which will be phased out. O2 however has already voiced its support.

The company has also released an MH300 GreenHeart Bluetooth headset, made of 100 per cent recycled plastic.

The C901 GreenHeart will be followed up in Q4 by a more budget handset with the current working title ‘Naite’. It will also feature recycled casing, smaller packaging with e-manual as well as a new low power charger and Ecomate application that features a carbon footprint calculator.

Sony Ericsson said the GreenHeart concept would be key in its “revitalised” product portfolio strategy and its environmental elements will eventually roll out into the manufacturer’s broader handset portfolio.

Sony Ericsson president Dick Komiyama said: “Sony Ericsson has worked continuously to become an industry leader in the arena of removing harmful substances from the core of its phones and in creating industry leading energy efficient chargers. Today we are announcing the next step in our strategy, the GreenHeart pioneer products, which launch with two innovative new phones and a commitment to roll these innovations across the broader portfolio in 2010 and 2011, allowing us to build a more sustainable business.”

O2 UK head of corporate responsibility, environment and sustainability Bill Eyres said: “We are fully supportive of Sony Ericsson’s GreenHeart initiative because it is so closely aligned with O2 UK’s own ambitions to make sustainability central to our business strategy. We know from consumer insight that environmental issues, particularly climate change, are now a significant concern from our customers. We believe that operating more sustainably is a business opportunity enabling us to function more efficiently.”

Environmentally-focussed handsets made by rival manufacturers, such as Motorola’s Renew, Samsung’s Blue Earth and LG’s solar powered phone have yet to be released in the UK. Nokia said it will not release one specific ‘green’ handset but incorporate smaller packaging across its portfolio.