A Samsung Upcycling project. Images courtesy Samsung.
The indiscriminate use of natural resources has been the main cause of the environmental deterioration that humanity faces today. Along with this, the exaggerated handling of fossil fuels and the accumulation of toxic and technological waste contribute to the “greenhouse effect.”
In this alarming situation, corporate responsibility plays a significant role. High-tech companies such as Samsung Electronics, assume plans aimed at avoiding and changing this reality. One of them is the Galaxy Upcycling programme.
The Samsung Galaxy Upcycling programme allows owners of Galaxy phones to update the hardware and software of used and outdated Galaxy phones in new technology products, such as closed circuit televisions, game consoles and IoT devices. The programme puts the tools to transform devices into a new technology in the hands of consumers by providing the necessary software changes and suggested hardware changes that allow new functionality. The initiative was created from the company’s innovation center, C-Lab, and was launched in 2018.
What is Upcycling?
Upcycling is the process of finding new and useful applications for old devices. According to figures from the World Monitor of Electronic Waste, about 45 million metric tons of electronic waste are discarded annually. Finding innovative ways to reuse old devices will prevent more technology from ending up in landfills, conserve a considerable amount of resources and, ultimately, create a more sustainable future.
Based in Seoul, the Galaxy Upcycling team explores simple ways to “do it yourself” so people can reuse older Galaxy devices. Over the past year, the team helped others learn how to conveniently connect their old devices to everyday household objects through the Internet of Things (IoT).
The Galaxy Upcycling programme provides an innovative and environmentally responsible approach for consumers who want to reuse their existing technology to have a new and differentiated functionality.
Samsung’s Galaxy Upcycling programme received the “Project of the Year” award at the Product and Project Leader Awards for the 2018 Environmental Leader, which recognizes companies that provide innovative solutions to problems related to sustainability and the environment