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Pan-industry Eco Rating scheme launched for mobile phones

Saf Malik
May 25, 2021

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, Telia Company and Vodafone unveil new consumer labelling to identify more sustainable mobile phones

Five of Europe’s leading mobile operators have joined forces to update and launch a new pan-industry Eco-Rating labelling scheme that will help consumers identify and compare the most sustainable mobile phones.

The Eco Rating initiative has been created jointly by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica (operating under the O2 and Movistar brands), Telia Company and Vodafone to provide accurate information at retail on the environmental impact of producing, using, transporting and disposing of smartphones and feature phones.

The Eco Rating will enable operators and their customers to encourage a wider rating of phones and demonstrate the demand for more sustainable electronics.

A range of new phones from 12 mobile phone brands will be assessed by the Eco Rating initiative with others expected to be announced in the future.

Launch partners include Samsung Electronics, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Oppo, Huawei, Bullitt Group, home of CAT and Motorola rugged phones and HMD Global – Home of Nokia devices among others.

The mobile operators will begin to introduce the Eco Rating labelling at the point of sale across 24 countries in Europe including the UK starting from June 2021.

Following a detailed assessment, each handset will be given an overall Eco Rating score out of 100 to signal the environmental performance of the device across its entire lifecycle.

The Eco Rating label will highlight five key aspects of mobile device sustainability. These include the durability, repairability, recyclability, climate efficiency and resource efficiency of the device.

The chief executives of the five mobile operators welcomed the launch of the initiative. They released a joint statement saying: “Building a more sustainable future is our joint responsibility, so we believe the time is right to drive a harmonised, industry-wide Eco Rating Scheme that will improve transparency and help raise awareness of the environmental impact of the phones that our customers choose.

“We look forward to welcoming more manufacturers and telecoms operators to the Eco Rating initiative in the future, and we hope it will inspire the whole industry to accelerate its transition towards a more circular model for mobile phones.”

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