Marina Proske

Researcher
Department Environmental and Reliability Engineering, Fraunhofer IZM
Marina Proske holds a Dipl.-Ing. in environmental engineering from Technical University Berlin. She is a researcher in the Department Environmental and Reliability Engineering at the Fraunhofer IZM in Berlin since 2011. Her work focuses on the topics eco-design and environmental assessment of mobile electronics. She has completed the LCA of the Fairphone 2 (2016) and 3 (2020) and also works as a reviewer for LCAs. Since 2016 she is a member of the research group “OHA obsolescence as a challenge for sustainability”. Currently she is leading the research project “MoDeSt – product circularity through modular design – strategies for long-lasting smartphones” funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Talk: LCA of the Fairphone
The Fairphone 2 and its successor Fairphone 3 are one of the very few modular smartphones on the market. Their life cycle assessments (LCA) shows similar to other smartphone LCAs that the main environmental impact is caused by the production phase. Lifetime extension through e.g. battery replacement and repair has the potential to reduce the overall impact significantly. Repair pays off environmentally for a very long time in the use phase – as long as the main contributor to the manufacturing impact, the mainboard, is kept in use. The comparison between the Fairphone 2 and 3 also shows that the way repairability is achieved technically does influence the environmental impact. Whereas the Fairphone 2 had larger connectors, requiring more gold and PCB area increasing the initial impact, the overhead for the Fairphone 3 was much lower with no significant difference to conventional smartphones regarding e.g. the use of gold, with the same benefit of enabling maintenance and repair.