Green ratings for mobile phones
Vodafone has launched an eco-rating system to help shoppers judge just how green a mobile phone is before they buy.
The telco claimed it is the country's first sustainability ranking system for cellphones, measuring the environmental and ethical performance of a phone. The eco-rating system uses information directly from handset manufacturers and allots scores from one to five, with five the most sustainable.
Each phone's rating includes an assessment of environmental impacts such as carbon emissions and how much water is used in manufacturing. It also takes into account ethical factors, such as labour policies and health and safety practices for people assembling the phones, Vodafone said.
Ratings are higher for mobiles which contain less hazardous materials, are easy to recycle, have a longer battery life and follow high standards of manufacturing health and safety.
Handset manufacturers have to answer more than 200 questions about the environmental and ethical impact of each mobile phone.
Rachel Brown, CEO of the Sustainable Business Network, believes the eco-rating meets a need many consumers now have. "It's really simple to understand - you can see at a glance how sustainable a particular mobile is," she says.
"What also appeals to us is that eco-rating sheds more light on the performance of mobile phone suppliers and their products."
Eco-rating scores are calculated by global assessment and certification group Bureau Veritas and British environmental compliance consultants SKM Enviros, then verified by auditors KPMG.
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