Will Microsoft Leverage Nokia’s Eco-Friendly Mobile Phone Industry?

(3BL Media/Just Means)-Microsoft's Greener IT program categorizes IT resource efficiency into five separate departments: Operating System, Applications, Management, IT Hardware, and Building. From energy smart software applications to energy efficient trainings for IT departments, Microsoft is committed to helping customers improve the energy efficiency of their IT systems. But how will Nokia Executive Stephen Elop ensure that Nokia's sustainability successes in the mobile phone industry don't go to waste?

Nokia strives to be one of the most environmentally sound tech companies on the globe. For two years in a row, they ranked number one in Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics. Only this year did Nokia fall behind Wipro and HP to number three with a score of 5.4/10. They failed to reach their renewable energy goal of 50% and lack a clean energy strategy. However, according to Greenpeace, Nokia does receive top points for disclosing externally verified GHG emissions from its own operations.

Nokia's also boasts that its mobile industry is made with the environment in mind. Every device offers a sustainability profile which can be found on their website. Currently highlighted are the Nokia Lumia 820 and the Nokia Ashna 311. The Lumia 820 emits 16 kg CO2-eq of greenhouse gases, is 100% recyclable, and is made of 60% renewable materials. The Ashna 311 is even more eco-friendly with only 9 kg CO2-eq of greenhouse gases and is made of 100% renewable materials. Nokia states that using either of these phones is comparable to the energy emitted after driving between 54-96 km in a family car. 

Before Microsoft's buyout of Nokia's mobile industry, the two companies had already been working independently on eco-inspiring software; software programs purposed to push users towards a more sustainable lifestyle. HERE Transit, Nokia's innovation, helps users navigate public transportation in over 720 cities globally. But post buyout, Nokia still holds the reigns to HERE Transit and other groundbreaking mapping apps. So, how does Microsoft intend to leverage the sustainability work of Nokia into profit gain? Plans are shaky and industry researchers are skeptical.

"Historically, I've always seen Microsoft as the place where mobile technology goes to die," said Michael Morgan, a mobile-industry analyst with ABI Research Inc. "I'm just not entirely sure if this closer owner relationship will allow them to make better phones than under their previous alliance."

With Nokia's range of eco-friendlier mobile devices, Microsoft has the opportunity to put itself back on the industry's map and even lead the way in closed-loop technology. But the not-so-soft reality is whether or not Microsoft will see the return of this buyout into hard dollars.