Updating the Fixometer Carbon Footprint Data?

Hi, well done to @RestartProject for organizing a fantastic #FixFest2020; the last session on how Fixometer data is collected and used was a brilliant way to close the event!

I am sure I am not alone in being able to say that I love the Fixometer. As a researcher, and a bit of a geek, I am wondering if now might be a good time to update the spreadsheet that gives us those motivating statistics on the weight of electronics saved from landfill and carbon footprint estimates on the restarters.net homepage? A lot of devices in it are relatively old in technological terms (e.g. the most recent phone in the spreadsheet was released in 2014), and it would be interesting to see if changes in design/types of materials used may have changed this footprint.

In addition, it might even be able to go beyond carbon footprints and add some information on the reduction/disposal of minerals/materials embedded in the devices repaired using this dataset and others like it (maybe even data generated in the community!).

If anyone at @RestartProject or in the community are interested it would be great to work together/organize an online event to amass as much data for everyone to use and fine tune those stats.

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This is really important @Artur_Donaldson and something we’d been doing on a category-by-category basis. For example, we did mobiles last year as we knew they were the most changed since we’d started, and more data was available.

We have a table that shows the CO2 data quality by category - is this only visible to admins @neil?

You’ll notice we have a data quality index for the CO2 reference data, that ranks quality of the data we currently have. These DQI ranks are very dated now.

Would it make most sense to go back through the data, perhaps two people @Artur_Donaldson and @monique or @neil, and re-rank the data we have? I think “temporal representativeness” and “technical representativeness” will be the areas to re-rank. This could help us identify the most urgent categories to start with.

Another aspect I tried to raise last night is that the “displacement rate” used for this calculation is very arbitrary. There was very little research into displacement of new purchases by electronics and electrical repairs, at the time we designed this system. It would be worth reviewing the literature and see if there are any new insights into this.

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As mentioned in the session, fully agreed @Artur_Donaldson - it’s something we’ve been wanting to do.

Yep, that page is currently only admin-only - I can’t think of any reason why it shouldn’t be viewable by all though. It’s essentially just the data quality column from this tab.

This is a definitely good place to start. What do you think, @Artur_Donaldson?

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@neil @Janet Yup, I agree it can be done, and the data quality score is a neat idea! The dashboard really could help us focus on the devices that have the least information.

TBH I started playing with the data a while back, and have gradually started to update the spreadsheet (result here) with Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) in the Electronic Gadgets category, which includes phones. The version of the spreadsheet linked on the website does not seem to have the updates from last year. Also, I have also changed the way the scores are averaged so it is weighted by how representative it is, so older or poor quality data does not swamp out newer and more relevant information.

It is worth mentioning that most of the LCAs are very brief (two pages to describe the methodology and conclusions on the assessment of something with such a complex manufacturing process as a phone ?!?) and obtuse in their LCA reporting, with the notable exceptions of Ericsson and Fairphone. Also many of them have been taken offline since they were logged in the Fixometer* .

*This is bad practice, but sadly common with information regarding corporate environmental sustainability. But then again, maybe they don’t know about the Wayback Machine :stuck_out_tongue:.

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Regarding the “weight” values, ages ago I scraped a list of Apple Mac models that includes their weights and dimensions if it is of any use to anyone. The brand/model features prominently in the devices table.

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Sorry for the slow reply @Monique, that’s great! Is it OK to combine this into the Fixometer spreadsheet draft?

As a stretch challenge, to use the kickstarter term, it would be cool to see if we could get info on the weights of the components (e.g. the battery) to work out the composition of the materials wasted/saved (e.g. lithium)

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Sure, go for it :smiley: