SHIFT is a German social business that produces highly sustainable smart phones and datable notebooks. It aims to do as much good and as little damage as possible. Closing the Loop was asked to make SHIFTPHONES waste-neutral. This collaborative effort created additional appeal to SHIFT products and delivered on the growing global demand for electronic waste reduction.

The Challenge

Making the production process of electronics more sustainable is notoriously difficult. SHIFT is a manufacturer for whom sustainability and fairness are close to its heart. It already uses highly fair production processes in their own technology factory in China where the final assembly is done. Here, workers are provided similar working conditions like in Germany such as a 40 hours working week.  But how can the German manufacturer add an extra element of circularity to its story and proposition? And how could such an act add to its company profile and customer appeal?

"Working with CTL enables us to pursue our goal in minimizing our environmental impact and to support responsible e-waste management, that serves the planet and the people." - Samuel Waldeck (CEO Shift Phones)

The Service

For one SHIFT6mq phone sold by SHIFT, Closing the Loop collects & recycles a scrap phone from a country that lacks formal electronic waste management. One for one. The reduced waste is used to compensate the SHIFT device’s footprint.

The Solution

By linking the sale of a new SHIFTPHONE to the collection of an end-of-life phone. Closing the Loop’s approach hereby adds to SHIFT’s many steps towards creating fair, modular and sustainable devices. Closing the Loop’s services effectively makes the SHIFT device ‘waste-neutral’. Combined with SHIFT’s other actions (including a device refund scheme), the overall impact could even be seen as ‘waste-positive’.

The Result

Through this collaboration, SHIFT managed to implement even more circularity in its current business model. SHIFT can now claim that specific models it sells are waste-neutral – or even ‘waste-positive’. Over 10,000 new SHIFT devices have been compensated. The partnership resulted in less pollution and increased income for local communities in the Global South.


Like SHIFT and other tech manufacturers and tech users  across the globe, you can combine commercial value, positive impact and PR benefits by using the services of Closing the Loop. Align your devices to your values. Get in touch via 020 75 26 506 or via info [at]