How Smart is That? Sustainable Design and Fishy QR Codes

A smartphone might be an irreplaceable tool for the modern man, but its manufacture of exacts a heavy toll on the environment – from mining of raw materials to factory emissions. Now the Samsung Galaxy S4, has received TCO certification – the world’s first – for sustainable design and manufacturing. Meanwhile, the mobile becomes a handy tool in promoting seafood sustainability, where consumers are able to find out more about the fish they eat by scanning a QR code. Read more

Samsung GALAXY S4 becomes world’s first TCO certified smartphone

In Tempo (26 May 2013):

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. announced recently that the Samsung GALAXY S4 is TCO Certified.

The first smartphone to be awarded such an honor. TCO Development, an independent body that focuses on sustainability in the IT industry, found the GALAXY S4 was sustainably designed and manufactured and met customer demand for sustainable mobile products.

“The demand for environmentally friendly products informed our decision making process when we were creating the GALAXY S4.

“We are delighted to be the first smartphone manufacturer to be TCO Certified as this validates our approach to sustainability,” said JK Shin, CEO & President, IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.

“This is the second significant certificate the GALAXY S4 has received since its release as we were also awarded Platinum ECOLOGO certification from UL. Our customers can trust that every device we release to the market is sustainable and environmentally friendly.”

To become TCO Certified a smartphone must meet requirements across a variety of criteria including social, environmental and economic viability.

In the social category, Samsung demonstrated that it is committed to socially responsible manufacturing and is compliant with International Labour Organization and United Nation conventions.

In the environmental category, it was found that the GALAXY S4 was free from many hazardous materials such as nickel, beryllium, and mercury which, if present, would have severely restricted its potential to be recycled at the end its lifecycle.

In terms of economic viability, the power efficiency of the charger was praised, as was the smartphone’s industrial design which boosts reliability.

“TCO Certified Smartphones are designed to make it easier for smartphone buyers to choose products that have been designed with sustainability in mind. By certifying their smartphones, leading brands such as Samsung have a real opportunity to demonstrate that their products are helping advance more sustainable mobile solutions,” said Sören Enholm, CEO TCO Development.



QR codes used in edible form for sustainable sushi fish

By Jennifer Goula for  Mobile Commercial Press (25 May 2013):

Another restaurant is now using smartphone barcodes to promote sustainability in seafood.

Diners eating at an upscale San Diego restaurant called Harney Sushi will now be able to use their smartphones to scan QR codes on their dishes to learn more about the sustainability of the seafood products that have been used.

When the barcodes have been scanned, they direct users to websites where they can discover more about what they’re eating.

The QR codes lead users to the website for FishWatch at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, where they will be able to discover more about the seafood that they are eating as a part of their meal, in terms of its sustainability. The owners of the restaurant, Dustin Summerville and Kirk Harrison, as well as Robert Ruiz, its executive chef, have partnered with a number of different stakeholders in fisheries, as well as with scientists from the NOAA from that agency’s Southwest Fisheries Science Center. The center is located in La Jolla, California and the participants are working together to come up with a local culture and economy of seafood sustainability.

The edible version of the QR codes give consumers the chance to learn more about this effort.

Though not the first, Harney Sushi is among the original restaurants in the U.S. to use these QR codes, printed with water based, edible ink on rice paper. This is not the first time that the restaurant has made its way into the news. In 2010, this location’s executive chef Ruiz won the San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival grand prize and has earned the title of “Chef of the Fest.”

This makes the QR codes only the latest effort to help to work with the community and spreading the word about the efforts that the restaurant is making to be environmentally responsible. The barcodes are a very practical vehicle for sharing this message, because they are compatible with virtually any smartphone – a device carried by the majority of the restaurant’s patrons, as well as being very inexpensive to create and easy for the customers to scan and use.


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