European MNOs launch Eco Rating stamp for handsets

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Five mobile network operators (MNO) have collaborated to introduce a new pan-industry labelling scheme to help consumers identify and compare sustainability across smart phones.

The Eco Rating initiative has been jointly created by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica (operating under the O2 and Movistar brands), Telia Company and Vodafone to encourage suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of devices.

The scheme is set to launch in June with 12 smartphone brands initially assessed. Launch partners include 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.

Information will be made available to consumers at a glance, covering the impact of producing, using, transporting and disposing of the devices. The details will be shared at point of sale across 24 European countries.

The chief executives of the five MNOs – Tim Höttges (Deutsche Telekom), Stéphane Richard (Orange), José María Álvarez-Pallete (Telefónica), Allison Kirkby (Telia Company) and Nick Read (Vodafone Group) – together welcomed the launch of the Eco Rating Initiative:

“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.”

the methodology behind the rating system covers durability, repairability, recyclability, climate efficiency and resource efficiency.

It builds on industry knowledge and best practice gathered through previous environmental labelling initiatives and was developed with technical support and supervision from IHOBE, a publicly-owned agency specialised in economic development, sustainability and the environment, using standards published by the European Union, ITU-T, ETSI and ISO with new parameters introduced where appropriate.