Increase Your Consumer Awareness: New initiative for mobile phone labelling
Labelling that can help consumers make more aware and informed choices when buying a mobile phone – above all when it comes to their environmental footprint – is proof of the exciting progress currently being made. Now we’re being introduced to “Eco Rating”, the result of a joint initiative from five of the largest mobile phone operators in Europe. This means that mobile phones will now start coming with a label showing the phone’s rating with respect to durability, repairability, recyclability and how efficiently the producer has been able to take aspects such as resources and climate into account during the manufacturing process. So far, some 80 different mobile phone models have been graded and labelled in this ambitious project.
Eco Rating is based on the information that mobile phone producers normally provide for mobile phone operators. It runs through the phone’s entire life cycle:
- Raw materials: What materials have been used? For example gold or lithium? The higher the proportion of recycled materials, the better the grading.
- Manufacturing: This measures aspects like the carbon dioxide emissions and the energy consumption involved in the manufacturing process.
- Transportation: How far does the mobile phone have to travel from its place of production to where it’s being sold? In what way does it travel? What is its carbon footprint?
- Usage and spare parts: This section takes into account how well the phone continues to work after a few years of usage, assessing aspects like its repairability. The amount of energy needed to recharge the device is also measured and rated here.
- Final stage: How well is the mobile phone taken care of when it becomes WEEE?
The mobile phone operators behind this initiative are Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica (the company behind the brand names O2 and Movistar), Telia Company and Vodafone.