Sustainable Laptops

Sony Vaio W Series Eco Edition

The Global Green Community is increasing considerably every year. More and more people start to be aware of their actions; in a sense of what impact will they have on the environment.
It is having these people in mind that every single Company is trying to make its ecological statement, during and after the production of their goods, proving that it is possible to achieve a more and more sustainable product without losing its quality.
For instance, in February 2010 Sony Corporation launched the new edition of the Sony Vaio W Series laptops, denominated Eco Edition.The name was given due to many eco-friendly innovations that Sony brought with this laptop, which are bound to make any green-minded costumer happy.

Sony Vaio W Series Eco Edition

In the attractive design of it, 80% of the plastic body (including palm rest, top and bottom covers ) is made from recycled plastic of which 20% is from old CDs and DVDs. According to Sony, compared with the production of previous W Series models, this feature alone, accounts for a reduction of 10% in CO2 emission. This is because less energy is needed when recycling an already existent material than manufacturing new ones.
This process also introduces, a new way to deal with unwanted CDs and DVDs, that goes around 2500 tones a year, reducing the amount that is disposed into landfills from where they will take 200- 500 year to decompose, or even more, depending on the environment to which they are exposed to.

What also makes the Eco Edition even more environmentally friendly product than previous ones is that the printed user manual was replaced with an integrated electronic version. As Sony stated, this reduced the printed user documentation by around 35%, consequently reducing CO2 emission.
The worry of not knowing how to dispose of the paper manual will no longer exist and on top of that, less paper would be produced. In other words, this gives users the facility of just pressing a button and scrolling through the manual and the peace of mind that less harm has been done to the environment for them to get this facility.

These are only two of the many qualities that make the Sony Vaio W Series Eco Edition, a good and user friendly green laptop. Taking, them into consideration, the idea of recycling unwanted data storage from Sony could be used in other pieces of technology.
For instance, it could be used in the design of Plasma Display Panel( PDP) television. To understand how, we would have to understand exactly what CDs and DVDs are made of and look at some components of PDPs.

The data storage products (CDs, DVDs and Blue-ray Discs), is where polycarbonates find their major application. Polycarbonates is one variety of plastic whose group identification code is Other. In other words, they do not have an identification code.
However due to their good insulation, heat and flame resistance properties, they are also used as dielectrics (electrical insulators), especially in electrical and telecommunications hardware.
In the picture below we can see the composition of a Plasma Display Panel.
Plasma Display Panel Conponents

As is seen, the plasma design integrates a dielectric layer (made of polycarbonates). If this layer was made from processed CDs and DVDs( made of the same material) instead of using raw materials, the CO2 footprint of the manufacturing of the same product would be cut down.

Despite they highly competitive resolution display, plasma televisions are known to consume more energy than the ones that use other display technology such as LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), comparing the two, it is understandable if they stay at the bottom of costumers´ desired television set list; specially the environmentalists ones.
As technology is advancing rapidly, soon this problem will be overcame, and if recycling CDs and DVDs are integrated in this advances due to many of advantages of plasmas TVs, manufacturers may well turn their sale figures around. On top of that, companies will be well recognised due to the effort to introduce more eco-friendly products in the market consequently helping to reduce carbon emissions.

As it was for the eco edition laptop, its design did not pass unnoticed among some worldwide organization whose job is to acknowledge the effort of companies in introducing more innovative products to the consumer market. In fact, the laptop design was so well appreciated that is part of the list of products awarded with the 2010 Good Design Award. In May 2010 ,together with Panasonic, Sony also ranked in 7th on the 15th edition of the Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronic with a total score of 4,9.out of 10. Greenpeace stated that on waste issues, Sony’s score was boosted due to the use of recycled plastics annually in various products. Category in which we can include the laptop in discussion for having parts made of processed plastic.

On what sales are concerned, according to the Consolidated Financial Results Report from Sony Corporation for the end of the second quarter of the year fiscal 2010, it was possible to obtain the following pieces of information.

Million Unit Sales

The table above describes how many million units of the Key consumer electronics were sold last year and have been sold this year by Sony. Focusing on the PCs row, it is clear that the unit sales increased in the second quarter of 2010 (Q2 FY2010) comparing with the respective quarter of 2009 (Q2 FY2009). This increase in unit sales, was the main leader to the 5% increase of the whole sale and operation revenue of the networked products and services; rising from 351.7 (Q2 FY2009) to 369.1 (Q2 FY2010) billion yen. Giving an approximate value of 4,447 million U.S. dollars in sales revenue for the Q2 of 2010. It is important to note that, the Networked Product and Services (NPS) business of Sony Corporation includes mainly game business and PCs.

According to Sony, this enhancement of sales resulted from expanding market share in all regions driven by the rise in the demand of Vaio PCs. Since costumers worldwide look more and more for portability and convenience, it is possible to presume that laptops are on the top of these demands. Furthermore, as the eco conscious community increases, similarly rise the demand for devices that match consumers ideals . In this way it is possible to suppose that consumers may have been attracted by the greenness of the eco edition laptop and by other green Sony laptops, resulting in the bust the sales.
Besides, so far, society seems to have received well the product. Looking at different online reviews of it, overall there have not been any significant down side of the product, in contrast, in most of them reviewers praise Sony for the eco thinking brought to the design of the laptop, and hope that Sony continues to do the same or even better for future electronic devices.

To sum up, Sony Vaio has made its part by coming up with ideas that make its product more sustainable. Other counter-part companies could use the same concept to do theirs, because overall, everyone gets to win. The natural word wins by not being brutalized, the costumers win by having an eco-friendly device that helps the environment, hence helping to keep the sustainability of the word and in the end, the company wins a better image among society by protecting the environment and consequently wining with sales.
In fact everyone can find a way to do its part even that in a small percentage, but with not doubt that it will be enough to make a small difference to our planet.The entire objective is to merge the ”Electronic Era” and the “Sustainability Era” together in one piece of technology. If this combination is carried into every single piece of future technologies, global wide life is going to be gifted with more convenience and pleasances for our past, present and most important for generations to come.

Attachment Timestamp Size
unit sales.jpg 2010-12-16 23:36 38.71 KB
vaio.jpg 2010-12-16 23:36 49 KB
plasma display.jpg 2010-11-21 13:30 20.39 KB


Graphic Data

Sony Corporation (2010, December 29) Q2 FY2010 Consolidated Results. Three Months Ended September 30, 2010. [Unit Sales of Key Consumer Electronics & Game Product]
Retrieved from http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/financial/fr/10q2_sonypre.pdf [13 Dec 2010]
Wikipedia (2010, November 15) Plasma Display. [Composition of plasma display panel]
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_display [17 Nov 2010]

World Wide Web Page Data

Cdvds (2007) Recycle CDs.
Retrieved from http://www.cdvds.co.uk/Recycle_CDs.html [30 Oct 2010]
Greenpeace (2010, May) Guide to Greener Electronics Version 15.
Retrieved from http://www.greenpeace.org/international/Global/international/publications/toxics/2010/Ranking%20tables%20MAY%202010-Sony.pdf [16 Dec 2010]
Wikipedia (2010, November 15) Plasma Display. Environmental Impact.
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_display [17 Nov 2010]
Wikipedia (2010, November 19) Polycarbonate.
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycarbonate [20 Nov 2010]
Sony Corporation (2010, December) 2010 Good Design Award.
Retrieved from http://www.sony.net/Fun/design/awards/good_design.html [15 Dec 2010]
Sony Europe Limited (2010) New VAIO eco mini notebook.
Retrieved from http://www.sony.co.uk/hub/eco/eco-news/article/id/1237478115317 [22 Oct 2010]
Sony Europe Limited (2010) Save energy with VAIO laptops.
Retrieved from http://www.sony.co.uk/hub/eco/products-and-design/products/article/id/1237478202760 [22 Oct 2010]
Sony News & Information (2010, December 29) Consolidated Financial Results for the Second Quarter Ended September 30, 2010. Operating Performance Highlights by Business Segment. Networked Products & Service.
Retrieved from http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/financial/fr/10q2_sony.pdf [13 Dec 2010]