Closing the loop: SHIFTPHONE is ready for circular economy

Structure and linking of the blocks to be developed within the framework of the project.

In loop-PHONE, a concept for a fully circular economy-capable smartphone from the manufacturer SHIFT is to be developed and implemented as a prototype. The aim is to close all material flows associated with manufacturing within the company if possible.

Funding agency
BMBF – KMU innovativ

Project duration
February 2021 – July 2023

Subject and objective

SHIFT GmbH develops and sells smartphones under the brand name SHIFTPHONE. Due to a modular design, the returned devices are already being used to replace defective components, but the company has so far been faced with major challenges, in particular when it comes to the sorting and recycling of defective components. In the project, a long-term strategy is to be developed together with CESR to close the loops within the company.

Work packages and project structure

  1. First, an ecological controlling tool will be developed that identifies and quantifies the greatest environmental impacts in the life cycle of the SHIFTPHONE on the basis of its resource footprints (material, energy, water, land) and the climate footprint. In addition, an amount that can be justified in terms of raw material requirements is identified for the device deposit, which is currently set at 22 euros.
  2. Approaches to reduce the largest and most significant environmental impacts will be developed in order to make the entire international supply chain more sustainable.
  3. As the essential prerequisite for closing material loops is a sufficient amount of end-of-life equipment, a forecasting tool for the expected number of SHIFTPHONES returned in the future will be developed.
  4. The business model will be further developed so that it is based on the reuse of the SHIFTPHONES as a whole.

All components that cannot be reused are to be recycled so that SHIFT GmbH has direct access to the raw materials obtained. A recycling strategy will be developed for this purpose.

Project partners