Opening Up for the Environment

12 February 08

IBM, Sony, Nokia, and Pitney Bowes recently announced their Eco-Patent Commons initiative through which the fourfuturethink_eco-patent-commons companies will be releasing environmental conservation-related patents to the public. The effort is designed to help other companies leverage effective methods of cutting down waste and inefficiency. IBM, for example, has eliminated Styrofoam from its packaging and shipping because of its patented packaging design for a five-sided, shock-absorbing tray. Nokia is giving away patents related to its methods of re-tooling old mobile phone components into new electronics such as clocks and calculators. Together, the four companies are giving away 31 patents, all of which are available on the Web site of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. It’s great to see these companies taking such a progressive leap forward in terms of opening up their intellectual property for the greater good. Learn more at Bloomberg and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.

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Evolving Mobile

7 December 07

Nokia recently unveiled a new mobile handset that the company claims is the greenest phone ever made. The 3110 Evolve phone features a casing made from over 50% renewable materials, and it is packaged in a smaller box made from 60% post-consumer recycled content. The device will also get its juice from Nokia’s most energy efficient wall-charger, which uses a reported 94% less energy than current Energy Star requirements. The Evolve will hit stores sometime in 2008, and there’s no word on pricing as of yet.

Nokia also announced a new “Comes with Music” offering this week, which will give customers one year of unlimited music downloads through a subscription service. Thought the tracks will be DRM-laden, they will not expire once the user’s subscription is up. Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s VP of Multimedia says: “Comes with Music fulfils our dream to give consumers all the music they want, wherever they want it, while rewarding the artists who create it.” Learn more and read other recent announcements at Nokia.