If you want to be kinder to the planet, extending the lifespan of your electronics is one of the best things you can do. Mining for and manufacturing electronics has enormous environmental consequences: manufacturing a phone produces as much CO2 as 34 years of using it. Fixing our electronics instead of buying new is a powerful tool in our environmental toolkit.
iFixit also, of course, sells literal toolkits, and we’ve just taken a big step toward making our tools more environmentally friendly: Our Pro Tech Toolkit and Mako Driver Kit are now registered carbon neutral products through Carbonfund’s Carbonfree Product Certification Program. And as a result, the kits have earned the Amazon Climate Pledge Friendly badge. This badge means that we have measured and reported the kits’ greenhouse gas emissions, begun the work of minimizing those emissions, and pledged to offset all the emissions we cannot yet eliminate.
To measure and report the kits’ greenhouse gas emissions, we conducted a life-cycle assessment for each kit with the help of sustainability consultant Eco-Purpose. First, we broke each toolkit into its component materials. Then we considered the energy, water, and carbon needs of all the manufacturing processes, as well as the transportation emissions from each supplier, manufacturer and warehouse. Finally, we looked at the emissions of transporting the toolkits to our customers, and how our customers can (and realistically do) dispose of toolkits when they’re done. Going through this process has helped us pinpoint ways we can improve the greenhouse gas emissions of our toolkits. We’re now investigating improvements to our packaging, safer disposal options for customers, and more environmentally friendly materials, such as post-consumer recycled plastic.
Though reducing the emissions of our manufacturing is our goal, in the meantime we can offset those emissions where possible. We have committed to investing in carbon offset projects through Carbonfund, which supports projects in forestry, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. Some of these projects directly reduce greenhouse gas emissions of parts of our toolkits’ journey from raw materials to fixers’ workbenches—the Truck Stop Electrification Project, for example, lets trucks turn off their engines in truck stops, instead of consuming fuel while idling.
Projects like this are key to achieving the goals of The Climate Pledge, a global community which aims to bring carbon emissions to net zero by 2040, ten years before the Paris Agreement’s target. The Climate Pledge Friendly badges earned by the Pro Tech Toolkit and Mako Driver Kit indicate that they meet sustainability standards, working toward the goals of The Climate Pledge. Our tools don’t just fix tech; they’re helping meet global sustainability goals, too.
Fixing the planet will take effort from everybody, and we’re committed to doing what we can to push for a more sustainable future. We’ll keep improving our processes and making it easier for you to do your part: fixing your stuff instead of buying new.