Vodacom partners with vendors to help consumers choose eco-friendly mobile devices

As part of its continued commitment to halving its environmental impact by 2025, Vodacom is helping consumers make conscious purchasing choices when picking a mobile handset.

Vodacom has introduced the pan-industry Eco Rating for mobile phones across multiple brands with distinct labelling at point of sale where the devices are available.

(TOP: A Vodacom branded retail outlet). 

“At Vodacom, we have always believed that business success should not come at a cost to the planet, and we have made a commitment to halve our environmental impact by 2025. To this end, we are investing in technology initiatives that can assist in creating a sustainable future while raising awareness of how consumers can join us in working together to preserve our natural resource base. The Eco Rating scheme is one such opportunity to drive transparency for consumers by identifying and comparing mobile devices that reduce negative impacts on our environment today for a better future,” says Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer of Consumer Business at Vodacom.

The Eco Rating initiative has been created jointly by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica (operating under the O2 and Movistar brands), Telia Company as well as Vodafone, to provide consistent, accurate information at retail on the environmental impact of producing, using, transporting and disposing of smartphones and feature phones. Eco Rating also aims to encourage consumers to choose from a wider range of phones and demonstrate the demand for more sustainable electronics.

A mobile phone device will carry an overall Eco Rating score out of a maximum of 100 to signal the environmental performance of the device across its entire life cycle. The Eco Rating label will also highlight five key aspects of mobile device sustainability, providing additional information about durability, repairability, recyclability, climate efficiency and resource efficiency. 

The Eco Rating methodology

Using information provided by device manufacturers, Eco Rating applies a consistent evaluation methodology equally and objectively across 19 different criteria, culminating in a single score for each device.  In addition, the Eco Rating provides guidance in five key areas:

  • 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 the 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.

Consumers can learn more about the initiative and see how the rating is calculated for each device.


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