Want to see how we arrived at our results? We’ve broken this information down for you below.
The estimated carbon footprint of charging one phone
If we assume that you recharge your phone using a five-watt (W) charger for one hour each day, this means you’ll use a total of 1.825 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to charge your phone in one year.
To put this number into perspective, the average annual electricity consumption of a US residential customer was 10,649 kWh in 20194 – making the annual electricity use of charging one phone equal to 0.01% of the total annual use of a home.
So now we’ve estimated how much electricity phone charging uses, let’s find out how much CO2e this produces.
In proper carbon footprint calculations, this number will change depending on which country you live in. However, for our estimations, we’ve broken it down by continent instead. You can find out how and why we did this below.
Africa – 1.69 kgCO2e emitted per year by charging one phone each day
Asia – 1.07 kgCO2e per year
The Middle East – 0.99 kgCO2e per year
Australasia/Oceania – 0.81 kgCO2e per year
North and Central America – 0.62 kgCO2e per year
Europe – 0.54 kgCO2e per year
South America – 0.35 kgCO2e per year
To put these numbers into perspective, let’s return to our average annual electricity consumption of a US home (10,649kWh) and see how much CO2e is produced from this.
Combining this number with the emissions factor for North and Central America tells us that the average electricity use of a US home produces 3,664.03 kgCO2e per year.
So, the greenhouse gas emission of charging your phone doesn’t sound like a lot in the grand scheme of things, does it?
But let’s see what happens when we expand our scope to look at how much greenhouse gas is emitted per year by charging every phone in every country around the world, based on just one hour of phone charging per day.