The new mobile phone Eco Rating scheme launched across Europe is set to roll out globally after the five operators behind the initiative expanded their initial agreement to encourage operators worldwide to participate.
The announcement paves the way for Eco Rating to become a global harmonised labelling system, giving consumers everywhere consistent, transparent insight on the environmental impact of new smartphones and making it easier to incorporate it in purchasing decisions.
Eco Rating was initially launched in May 2021 by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica (operating under the O2 and Movistar brands), Telia Company and Vodafone to provide consistent, accurate information at retail on the environmental impact of producing, using, transporting and disposing of smartphones and feature phones.
The Eco Rating scheme was initially launched in 24 European countries, and has since been rolled out to South Africa (with Vodacom) and Brazil (by Telefónica under the Vivo brand). Eco Rating is now expected to launch in other countries including Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.
More than 150 mobile phone models are now assessed by the Eco Rating initiative, nearly doubling the range of devices rated at launch.
Fairphone, Realme and vivo are the latest mobile brand manufacturers to join the scheme, alongside Bullitt Group – Home of CAT and Motorola rugged phones, Doro, HMD Global – Home of Nokia Phones, Huawei, MobiWire, Motorola / Lenovo, OnePlus, OPPO, Samsung Electronics, TCL / Alcatel, Xiaomi and ZTE.
Eco Rating labelling is being implemented across 26 countries1 where the five launch operators are present.
Using information provided by device manufacturers, each mobile phone handset is thoroughly assessed and given an overall Eco Rating score out of a maximum of 100 to signal the environmental performance of the device across its entire life cycle.
Eco Rating applies a consistent evaluation methodology equally and objectively across 19 different criteria, culminating in a single score for each device. In addition, the Eco Rating label highlights five key aspects of mobile device sustainability:
· Durability – The robustness of the device, the battery life and the guarantee period for the device and its components.
· Repairability: Covers the ease with which the device can be repaired, including mobile phone design and supporting activities that could increase the useful life of the product by improving its reparability, reusability and upgradability potential. A higher the score indicates how these aspects are supported.
· Recyclability – How well the device components can be recovered and disassembled, the provided information to allow it, and how well materials can be recycled.
· Climate efficiency – The greenhouse gas emissions of the device during its whole lifecycle. The better the score here, the lower the climate impact is.
· Resource efficiency: Assesses the impact caused by the amount of scarce raw materials required by the device (e.g. gold for the manufacturing of electronic components) towards the resources depletion; the better the score here, the lower the impact is towards the availability of materials.