O2 and Vodafone launch eco rating system for devices

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Cross-industry ‘Eco Rating 2.0’ provides score from zero to five based on answers from manufacturer to questions around sustainability of devices 

O2 and Vodafone have teamed up with Forum for the Future to launch an industry-wide ratings system to help customers compare mobile devices based on environmental credentials.

Eco Rating 2.0 provides a score from zero to five for devices based on manufacturers’ answers to a range of questions, which cover information on the lifecycle of devices, responsible design features and manufacturing choices.

Further questions evaluate the material composition of the devices, efficiency of their transport, longevity and ways they enable more sustainable lifestyles.

The new ratings are displayed at the point of sale in high street stores and as an icon in the online stores. Orange has confirmed it will adopt the system next year.

The trio of firms claimed that although some manufacturers and network providers have reported the social and environmental impacts of devices before, the lack of comparability between the independent approaches has prevented consumers from comparing one mobile against another.

They claim Eco Rating 2.0 is different, in that it is based on rigorous independent research and was developed by them with feedback from other network providers and manufacturers. EcoVadis, who operate the supply chain sustainability rating network, have contributed sustainability scorecards on manufacturers, which are incorporated in overall Eco Rating 2.0 device ratings.

O2 head of sustainability Bill Eyres said: “We see Eco Rating 2.0 is the first step in the journey towards an industry standard, building on the pioneering work we carried out with Forum for the Future to bring this innovation to market in 2010. We believe this kind of product transparency will ultimately help empower consumers to make more informed and greener choices.”

Vodafone Group terminals director Patrick Chomet said: We want to empower our customers to make more informed decisions and the Eco Rating scheme does just that. It’s an easy way for our customers to understand and compare the sustainability credentials of a wide range of mobile phones.”

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