Sustainable logistics? Really?

The battery of my Fairphone 3 was not loading after less than a month. So far so bad.
As batteries are replaceable, I ordered two new batteries as a replacement and backup.

Well, now I received the shipment confirmation and guess what:
Fairphone sends the new batteries from Eindhoven to Berlin via DHL Express using air freight.
In oder to make this happen, DHL first sent the package to Brussles to be able to fly those tiny things to Hannover and then reload it on a truck to Berlin.
Are you serious?

Not only is it less than sustainable to be forced to replace a battery after only few weeks, but why do you use air transport for such a short distance shipment?

Nice marketing pitches are cool. But maybe you should consider to also act accordingly :wink:

On the topic of sustainability. I’m not disputing your claim that air freight is worse for the environment than road-freight or via water. There’s two points to make though: 1) we don’t know the bigger picture, and 2) sustainability isn’t a binary.

On that first point: Fairphone chooses their shipping partner, not the shipping partner’s policy. Their alternatives (DPD, TNT, UPS…) are likely more of the same when it comes to sustainability. I presume that for all these parties the story will be the same: they have to schedule their transports as efficiently as possible. Some parcels might have constraints that necessitates air freight (e.g. same day or next-day delivery), hence these companies will always have planes in the air. Efficiency wise, a full airplane is better than an empty one, especially when filled with high-volume low-weight items because kerosine consumption increases with weight, not volume of the contents. If filling up an airplane with additional freight can reduce the amount of lorries on the road, there might be a sustainability argument in favour of shipping precisely your batteries by plane.
Rather than immediately condemning FP’s sustainability argument as a marketing pitch, perhaps your remark can be rephrased in a more constructive light: how does Fairphone feel about their energy footprint wrt. shipping phones to consumers? How does that relate to the rest of the market? Does FP already do something more than their competitors in order to be better, and if so, what? If not: are there opportunities to do better?

Secondly, sustainability isn’t a binary. 100% sustainable is not buying a smartphone. However, that’s not how life works, we have to make a conscious trade-off between sustainability, budget, required and desired functionality and ethics. The same goes on inside a company. FP’s sustainability efforts include repairability of the phone to (hopefully!) increase lifespan, investments in recycling and better working conditions in mines and factories. That’s not 100% sustainable because they still produce and sell goods. But relative to the rest of the market I feel FPs product is more sustainable. Since their mission is to trailblaze a path in order to make the entire market of consumer electronics be more sustainable, I’d say they’re doing quite an ok job, even if it isn’t perfect.

Finally, slightly on a tangent: a battery that stops functioning within a month is a warranty case. I’d recommend you to report that with Fairphone and get it sorted, even if it’s just to make sure they’re aware of faulty equipment. Could be a bad batch, of which they’d only find out if multiple people report their battery.


Well all nice and good. Logistics is complicated and difficult.

But: Even DHL provides climate friendly services: . A quick Google search easily reveals this “hidden” secret. Im am very confident, that also other providers offer a comparable service.

By the way, I am not so much complaining about the malfunctioning battery. This is a thing that can happen, and for me personally is already resolved.

But surely Fairphone should seriously consider to switch to a more sustainable logistics method. Throwing the package onto a DHL-van and let them do the rest, in my eyes doesn’t comply to Fairphone’s self proclaimed company mission.

But maybe I’m just naive and don’t understand the bigger picture.

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I’m going to have to take a bit more time myself to read this, as German isn’t my strong suit. Make sure that it’s truly a step towards sustainability and not just a marketing pitch around the purchase of emission certificates. Anyone has more details? If it’s good, sounds like a valuable thing to take on board for Fairphone!

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Of course they focus mainly on emission certificates. I am certainly not here to promote DHL but in my naive eyes, they at least try to reduce emmisions ;).
On the other hand I am very confident, that there are climate friendly logistics options inside the EU which can also be used by Fairphone.

Weclome to the community Forum.

This forum is entirely community driven. If you are addressing these suggestions/complaints to Fairphone, please contact them through the support page.

If you want to discuss, you are welcome, but don’t forget Fairphone doesn’t follow this forum offcially. Moreover, a quick search on this forum would bring many results about topics where some of these questions have already been discussed.

I have recategorized this topic in #discuss:the-industry, as this is more suited for this discussion. Please tell me if you don’t agree.


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