iFixit is a wiki-based site that teaches people how to fix almost anything. Anyone can create a repair manual for a device, and anyone can also edit the existing set of manuals to improve them. The iFixit site empowers individuals to share their technical knowledge with the rest of the world.
This year, iFixit celebrates its tenth year as a Carbonfree® Business Partner, making annual donations to Carbonfund.org to neutralize carbon emissions from its operations and shipping by supporting third-party validated and verified voluntary carbon offset projects around the world. To date, iFixit has neutralized over 7 million pounds of greenhouse gases, the same quantity of emissions created by charging 411 million smart phones!
iFixit was started in 2003 by Luke Soules and Kyle Wiens in a dorm room at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. They started out fixing an old iBook together. There were no instructions on how to do it, so they started the way everyone does: the hard way, but they fixed it! Luke and Kyle attempted to fix some other laptops but had trouble finding parts, so they bought a broken computer on eBay and stole parts from it. Then they decided to start selling the parts ourselves, and iFixit was born.
But that’s not the whole story. It bothered the iFixit team that most consumer devices lacked repair instructions, so they wrote some instructions and posted them online for free. For the first time, it was easy for someone with no technical background or experience to take apart a Mac. The step-by-step instructions were enabling people to repair Macs they wouldn’t have been able to repair on their own. Now, the iFixit community also encourages members and users to update and edit repair guides, to improve quality and clarity of repair instructions. Today, iFixit helps thousands of people repair their devices every day.
iFixit also maintains several environmental responsibility and carbon emissions reduction strategies within its own operations:
- iFixit provides a stipend to staff for bikes or using public transportation, which helps cut down on the emissions generated by single-driver vehicles, and also permits a percentage of employees to work remotely;
- In San Luis Obispo, CA office, power is supplied by 100% carbon-free energy, through Monterey Bay Community Power’s usage of the Western Grid, and office has opted to participate in the “MC Prime” energy plan, which is a mix of solar and wind energy;
- In the San Luis Obispo office, staff separates food waste from regular trash to help reduce the amount of methane trapped in landfills. San Luis Obispo county has an anaerobic digester that turns this waste into compost and natural gas;
- iFixit has reduced B2B shipments to other countries by about half (from about 26 shipments each annually to Canada and Australia, to once monthly) and also ships directly from China to Australia for a majority of B2B tool shipments, instead of shipping back to US headquarters and then to Australia.
- iFixit’s EU locations have used 100 % renewable energy electricity from regenerative solar and wind resources since 2013, and in 2019, began investing in certified climate protection projects, so heating energy CO2 emissions are offset in a climate-effective manner.
- All national shipping to customers from iFixit’s EU location in Germany has been climate-neutral via certified carbon offsetting (scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG compensation) since 2016. In addition, Europe-wide climate-neutral shipping from the company’s EU headquarters was introduced in 2019.
The iFixit community is involved in various community support and activism causes for the Right to Repair and provides simple and practical steps that consumers can follow to reduce their own contribution to the global e-waste crisis.