Mobile phone buyers to choose models with lowest environmental impact


Mobile phone users: The proposed eco-rating scheme would extend across networks, manufacturers and national boundaries and empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions based on a standardized assessment of a mobile phone’s environmental impact.
Mobile phone users: The proposed eco-rating scheme would extend across networks, manufacturers and national boundaries and empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions based on a standardized assessment of a mobile phone’s environmental impact.

Mobile phone users will soon be able make a choice when making new acquisitions based on the device’s environmental impact through an easy-to-understand and credible eco-rating.

The mobile device eco-rating proposal formed of the recommendations from the ITU’s Green Standards Week meeting which called for a new, globally aligned eco-rating scheme for mobile devices. The proposed eco-rating scheme would extend across networks, manufacturers and national boundaries and empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions based on a standardized assessment of a mobile phone’s environmental impact.

The recommendations will guide the work of ITU’s Standardization Sector whose members comprise device makers (Alcatel-Lucent, Apple, BlackBerry, Fujitsu, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung), network operators (AT&T, Orange, KPN, Telefónica and Vodafone) as well as the industry association, GSMA.

“Criteria under consideration in the development of the new scheme include carbon footprint; battery life; the use of certain chemicals and rare metals; packaging; and recyclability, among others. The standard will be developed prioritizing principles such as lifecycle assessment, simplicity, transparency, feasibility and verifiability,” reads a statement from the meeting.

Green Standards Week, an annual event designed to raise awareness of the importance and opportunities of using ICT standards to build a green economy, gathered experts from across a range of disciplines to examine standardization for green ICTs, and in particular focused on the issues of smart cities and e-waste.

Experts worked on an agreed definition of a ‘smart sustainable city’, which will be necessary to align international standardization and other legal documents referring to the topic. This topic will be progressed in ITU’s Focus Group on Smart Sustainable Cities whose participants include representatives of many municipalities around the world.

In the area of e-waste, experts highlighted a need to improve statistics and coordination. They also encouraged the further implementation of waste-reducing standards such as ITU’s universal charger Recommendation (ITU-T L.1000), which has the potential to save 82,000 tonnes of e-waste per year.