Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, Telia Company and Vodafone launch new consumer label
Five of Europe’s leading mobile operators have joined force to update and launch a new pan-industrial eco rating labeling scheme that will help consumers identify and compare the most sustainable mobile phones and encourage suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of their devices.
The eco rating initiative was created jointly by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, Telia Company and Vodafone to provide retail -level information on the environmental impact of the manufacture, use, transportation, and disposal of smartphones and feature phones. Ratings enable operators and their customers to encourage wider ratings of phones and show the need for more sustainable electronics.
A range of new consumer phones from 12 mobile phone brands will be reviewed including Bullitt Group (Cat and Motorola ruggedised handsets), Doro, HMD Global (Nokia handsets), Huawei, MobiWire, Motorola / Lenovo, OnePlus, OPPO , Samsung Electronics, TCL / Alcatel, Xiaomi and ZTE.
From June 2021, mobile operators will begin introducing the unique eco rating label at the point of sale across the 24 European countries where they are present.
Following a detailed analysis, each mobile phone handset will be given an overall eco rating score from a maximum of 100 to indicate the environmental performance of the device throughout the entire life cycle. The eco rating label will also feature five key aspects of mobile device maintenance, providing additional information on durability, repairability, recyclability, climate efficiency and resource efficiency.
Using information provided by device manufacturers, the rating applies a consistent and objective evaluation procedure across 19 different criteria, ending with a single score for each device. In addition, the eco rating provides guidance in five key areas:
- Durability: The strength of the device, the battery life and the warranty period for the device and its components
- Repair: Covers the ease with which the device can be repaired, along with mobile phone design and supporting activities that can increase the useful life of the product by improving resilience, reuse and upgrade. A higher score indicates how these aspects are supported
- Recyclability: How well device components can be recovered and disassembled, the information provided to allow it, and how well the materials can be recycled.
- Climate efficiency: The greenhouse gas emissions of the device during the entire entire lifecycle. The better the score here, the lower the climate impact
- Resource efficiency: Evaluates the impact caused by the quantity of scarce raw materials required by the device (e.g. gold for the manufacturing of electronic components) towards the depletion of resources; the better the score here, the less impact will be towards the availability of materials
The methodology builds on industry knowledge and best practices gathered through previous environmental labeling initiatives. It was developed with technical and administrative support from IHOBE (a publicly owned agency specializing in economic development, sustainability and the environment), with the participation of device suppliers, using the latest standards and guidelines from in the European Union, ITU-T, ETSI and ISO with new parameters introduced where applicable.
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