going green

O2 Ranks Mobile Phones’ Green Ratings

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 27, 2010 10:15 AM

O2 just launched the UK’s first eco ratings for mobile phones.

The reason for divulging its internal ranking of "sustainability credentials": customers told the Telefonica-owned wireless service provider "that they want the whole story about the phones they choose. So as well as specifications on battery life, web-access and connectivity, they also want to know about carbon performance, how ethical our suppliers are, how free from complex chemicals the handsets are, and so on."

The only hiccup to the ratings, as Brand Republic notes — Apple refused to participate.

A spokeswoman for Apple commented that the company has its own environmental report on its website and a specific iPhone 4 report.

So with that big caveat of no Apple participation, O2's first green ratings gave top marks to the Sony Ericsson Elm as its most sustainable mobile phone.

O2’s research revealed that 44% of consumers take environmental factors into consideration in their mobile phone purchases. With 4.1 billion plus phones in circulation worldwide, that’s a carbon footprint of more than 100 million tons over their combined lifetime.

“That’s the equivalent of taking every car and HGV in the UK off the road and grounding domestic flights for a year. With 1712 mobile phones being replaced every minute in the UK it’s easy to see how small improvements can make a huge difference, and Eco rating looks at much more than just CO2,” comments O2.

The Eco Rating takes into account: manufacturing process, raw materials used, packaging, energy efficiency, lifetime length, ease of use, and degree of recyclability.

A total of 65 devices were rated, with Sony Ericsson handsets dominating the top 10. “We are very proud that 5 out of the top 10 models in the rating come from Sony Ericsson and that our GreenHeart model Elm is leading the pack,” comments Mats Pellbäck Scharp, Head of Sustainability at Sony Ericsson.

“Of all attempts to compare environmental performance, we believe this rating system gives consumers the clearest picture on the environmental impact of their phone.”

The LG Etna and Palm Pre Plus scored the lowest, with 2.7 (vs. the top mark of 4.3 in this inaugural ranking).

The Eco Rating is part of 02’s Think Big sustainability initiative developed in consort with Forum for the Future experts. Peter Madden, CEO Forum for the Future, said: "We want to reward manufacturers who make efforts to reduce their environmental impacts and think creatively about how their devices can contribute to a better world."

02's first list of eco-rated handsets:
 
TOP EIGHT
 
Sony Ericsson 4.3
Nokia 6700 4.0
Nokia C7 4.0
Nokia 1800 4.0
Samsung GT-S8500 4.0
Sony Ericsson Zylo 4.0
Sony Ericsson Xperia x 10 mini pro 4.0
Sony Ericsson Xperia x 10 mini 4.0

BOTTOM FIVE
  
LG Etna 2.7
Palm Pre Plus 2.7
LG Chocolate 2.9
LG Cookie 2.9
HTC HD2 2.9

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