Industry drives new eco-rating scheme for mobile devices
Experts to propose global scheme to empower consumers
Geneva, 27 September 2013 – Experts attending last week’s
Green Standards Week have 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
Organizations working with ITU’s Standardization Sector on the new scheme
include device makers Alcatel-Lucent, Apple, BlackBerry, Fujitsu, Huawei,
Motorola, Nokia and Samsung, operators AT&T, Orange, KPN, Telefónica and
Vodafone, and industry partners including the GSMA.
For industry, the new scheme will mark a simplification of the process of
gathering and processing eco-efficiency information. For consumers, it will
provide an easy-to-understand, credible rating that allows them to choose mobile
devices with a lower environmental impact.
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.
Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Consumers are increasingly
looking to make sustainable purchasing decisions. A key problem has been a
bewildering array of eco-rating schemes. I applaud this initiative that will
drive green innovation and allow us all to make informed decisions when we
purchase mobile devices.”
Francisco Montalvo, Global Director of Devices, Telefónica: “Telefónica uses
environmental criteria including energy consumption, CO2 emissions and
recyclability to evaluate and select devices, but we have found great difficulty
with the absence of a common methodology for each manufacturer to report details
on their devices. There is clearly a strong need for a common framework to
enable industrial implementation.”
Green Standards Week, an annual event designed to raise awareness of the
importance and opportunities of using ICT standards to build a green economy, is
organized by ITU and was hosted and sponsored this year by Telefónica. The event
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
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.
Green Standards Week also saw Belarusian Andrey Sryvkov awarded first prize
3rd Green ICT Application Challenge for his application ‘Greenyplay’.
Sryvkov’s USD 5,000 winning idea uses ‘gamification’ to encourage recycling with
a system of achievements and rewards.
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Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU
Senior Communication Officer, ITU