O2 goes green and ranks eco-friendly phones

Darren Allan

August 25, 2010

O2 has come up with a new scheme to rank mobile phones in order of how environmentally friendly they are.

The Telegraph reports that the O2 “eco ratings” were scored with the help of experts from the Forum for the Future. The evaluation process examines factors such as the mobile’s packaging, materials used in its manufacturing, how easy it is to recycle, how energy efficient the device is, and how many functions it encompasses.

The multi-function aspect is important because a phone which can also be used as a music player, for example, will theoretically mean that the user won’t buy a separate gadget for listening to their MP3s.

So which is the most environmentally friendly mobile phone of them all? According to O2’s thinking, it’s the Sony Ericsson Elm, not a surprising result because as you can probably guess from the name, it’s built around a green theme (produced entirely with recycled materials, using no hazardous chemicals, and with minimal packaging).

The Elm scored an impressive 4.3 out of 5, with a number of handsets tied on second place behind it on a score of 4. These included the Nokia 6700, Nokia C7, Nokia 1800, Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Mini, and also the Mini Pro.

Nokia and Sony Ericsson dominated the top ten, with only one other company’s phone, the Samsung GT-S8500, making a green-friendly appearance.

On the flip side of the coin, LG dominated the list of the ten least eco-friendly handsets, with six of their phones appearing. The worst offender was the LG Etna (perhaps it emits a thick plume of volcanic ash into the atmosphere in lieu of a ringtone).

O2 said: “Eco rating is about empowering our customers. We want to share information about the social and environmental impact of the products we sell, to help customers make the right decisions.”

Interestingly, Apple has declined to partake in O2’s scheme, because “they publish their own data on their website.” Rim is also not currently involved, although will be joining the scheme in 2011, if not earlier, O2 says.


Comments in chronological order (2 comments)

  1. Kelly says:

    I think it is great to see that large companies are looking more proactively at the affects of their products and the environment this may sway buyers with their choice of phone and to buy a phone with 02. I am interested what makes the LG Etna so bad and also where popular phones like an iphone stands in the scale?

  2. Peter Nice says:

    If O2 (same applies to 3 and Vodaphone) is so green why do they insist on selling you a modem to use their 3G mobile broadband when you already have a perfectly good modem. I wonder how many tied to company modems will end up as land fill. There should be legislation that enables modems to be unlocked after the purchase of a set amount of air time or data throughput, to offset any subsidy provided by the company.

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