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Expansion of the Mobile Environmental Assessment Scheme to 35 countries, Sustainability

  • The consumer mobile phone rating scheme expands to a total of 8 operators in Europe, Africa and South America and is supported by 22 manufacturers.
  • The average environmental assessment scores for 2022 phones have already improved compared to 2021 as manufacturers deal with the increasing sustainability demands of consumers and operators.
  • Launching the new consumer portal to facilitate comparison between devices classified in www.ecoratingdevices.com.

EE, NOS and Proximus joined the Eco Rating labeling scheme initially launched by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica (operating under the O2, Movistar and Vivo brands), Telia and Vodafone in May 2021. Proximus launched the scheme in early 2022 And EE and NOS will roll out environmental assessments to their clients in the coming months.

Since its launch in 24 European countries as of May 2021, the Environmental Assessment Scheme has expanded to 11 more countries and is available to consumers in 35 countries across Europe, Africa, South America and soon in Asia/Pacific.

Most of the major European suppliers are now covered by Eco Rating, due to sharing extensive contacts with mobile phone suppliers. The rating provides incentives to improve the environmental performance of mobile phones in the market, evidenced by the increase in the average environmental rating score from 74 to 76 out of a maximum of 100 since launch 18 months ago.

Through the rating scheme, the environmental assessment helps consumers compare the environmental impact of mobile phones, enabling them to make greener choices. The Environmental Assessment provides consistent and accurate retail and online information on the environmental impact of the production, use, transportation and disposal of smartphones and feature phones. It comprehensively looks at the entire ecological footprint.

Eco Rating has launched a new database to enable consumers to compare scores for all rated devices from participating suppliers online at www.ecoratingdevices.com/ratings. The database can be searched and filtered by brand, model and results to make better informed decisions.

The environmental assessment has developed standards to promote carbon efficiency and reduce e-waste, including measures such as plastic packaging replacements, improved device durability, extended warranties and longer maintenance support.

With more than 300 phones analyzed by device lifecycle experts at the Eco Rating Consortium, an updated scoring methodology is set to be published from January 2023. The update is intended to motivate mobile device manufacturers in areas that have the greatest potential for improvement.

Consumers can learn more about the initiative and find out how the rating is calculated by visiting www.ecoratingdevices.com.


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environmental assessment methodology

Using information provided by device manufacturers, each mobile phone is thoroughly evaluated and given an overall Environmental Rating score (maximum of 100) to indicate a device’s environmental performance over its entire life cycle.

Eco Rating applies an equally and objectively consistent rating methodology across 19 different criteria, culminating in a single score for each device. In addition, the environmental assessment highlights five key aspects of mobile sustainability:

  • durability: Device durability, battery life, and warranty period for the device and its components.
  • Repairability: Covers the ease with which a device can be repaired, including mobile design, and supporting activities that can increase the useful life of a product by improving its repairability, reusability, and upgradeability. A higher score indicates how supportive these aspects are.
  • Recycling: How well the components of the equipment are recovered and disassembled, the information provided to allow this, and how well the material is recycled.
  • Climate efficiency: Greenhouse gas emissions of the device over its life cycle. The better the score here, the lower the climate impact.
  • Resource Efficiency: evaluates the effect of the amount of scarce raw materials a device requires (such as gold for manufacturing electronic components) on resource depletion; The better the score here, the less impact on material availability.

The environmental assessment methodology builds on industry knowledge and best practices gathered through previous environmental labeling initiatives. Developed with the technical support and oversight of IHOBE (a publicly owned agency specializing in economic development, sustainability and the environment), with the participation of hardware suppliers, using the latest standards and guidelines from the European Union, ITU-T, ETSI and ISO with new standards introduced where appropriate.

Eco Rating evaluated phones from 22 participating suppliers: B Mobile, Bullitt Group – home of CAT, Motorola for rugged phones, Crosscall, Doro, Fairphone, Honor, HMD Global – home for Nokia phones, Huawei, MobiWire, Motorola/Lenovo and none, Nubia And OnePlus, OPPO, Orange, Realme, Samsung Electronics, Sony, TCL/Alcatel, vivo, Xiaomi, and ZTE.