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O2 UK, Vodafone and Others Launch Eco Rating for Mobile Phones

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 (9:04 am) - Score 2,880

Mobile operators such as O2, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Orange and Telia have today joined forces to launch a new pan-industry “Eco-Rating labelling scheme,” which aims to help customers identify and compare the most sustainable mobile phones and encourage suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of their devices.

Essentially, the initiative will assess five key aspects of mobile device sustainability, including their durability, repairability, recyclability, climate efficiency and resource efficiency. Each mobile phone handset will then be 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.”


At launch about 12 mobile handsets will be assessed, with more to follow, from brands (launch partners) including the Bullitt Group (CAT and Motorola rugged phones), Doro, HMD Global (Nokia Phones), Huawei, MobiWire, Motorola / Lenovo, OnePlus, OPPO, Samsung, TCL / Alcatel, Xiaomi and ZTE.

The Eco Rating Methodology

· 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 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.

Mobile operators from the UK and 23 other countries in Europe will begin displaying the new Eco Rating labels from June 2021. Customers will be able to learn more about the initiative and see how the rating is calculated by visiting a new website at www.ecoratingdevices.com.

Joint Statement from Mobile CEOs

“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.”

One potential caveat here is that the new labelling system was developed by mobile operators, with support from “information provided by device manufacturers” (vested interests may be an issue), which is perhaps less ideal or trustworthy than having such ratings calculated by a fully independent process, group and funding source.

On the other hand, this is still a potentially positive development, although we’ll need to see how it stacks up against real scrutiny, once the first ratings come out, before passing judgement (hopefully it’s not another one of those industry tables where everybody gets at least a ‘good’ score).

The ratings will shortly go live in Albania, Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. SM says:

    But not iPhone? And not whoever manufactures Google’s various Pixel phones?

    1. Vince says:

      It is going to be mindless regardless. They all make phones with parts shipped all over the world, and they all operate, especially the Apple’s, Samsungs and so on of the world, by creating new phones every year which they just don’t need to and does result in lots of waste and harm. This scheme won’t identify any of this.

    2. Mike says:

      Other than durability/reparability, 99% of people when choosing a phone will disregard this.

  2. Winston Smith says:

    iFixit already publish a repairability rating for most popular phones. The results are produced by completely disassembling each phone.


    I trust that process far more than ‘information provided by device manufacturers.’

    Also he methodology above doesn’t explicitly mention how long and how often security updates will be supplied.

  3. Phil says:

    I guess the idea is to make people feel less guilty due to environmental reasons about “upgrading” their device earlier because the new one sports green credentials, of course there is nothing green about replacing a working phone, only profit for the mobile phone companies. That is all this is about, money, nothing to do with being green.

  4. Leave a Reply says:

    Genuine battery for 3 year old Sony Xperia costs £60 (with labour) + transport costs and it’s a mobile that is no longer supported by it’s manufacturer in terms of system updates. So the only reason for doing this is if you want to give it to your children. Replacing a display using a non-genuine part is a nonsense because after market parts are poor quality in any aspect you can imagine made by prisoners in camps. I don’t think anyone will care about this ratings because this is yet another eco terrorists sick idea forcing you to buy not what you want but what they think you should.

  5. Dell Skinner says:

    you are rubbish

    1. John says:

      Thanks for introducing yourself.

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