Eco Rating Has Arrived
The new harmonised environmental scoring system for mobile phones
What is Eco Rating?
Eco Rating is a newly introduced global system that evaluates the impact smartphones and feature phones make on our environment throughout the entire lifecycle of the device. It assesses the environmental impact of the entire process of production, transportation, use and disposal of mobile phones and produces an overall score that shows the impact the device has on the environment and society.
Mobile phone consumers are increasingly aware of how the device choices they make can contribute to minimising climate impact and lead to a more environmentally sustainable industry. Eco Rating aims to improve transparency and help raise awareness of the environmental impact of the phones we supply, and our customers choose.
Within New Zealand, One NZ has introduced this initiative with the support of the TCF and other major New Zealand telecommunications companies in an industry wide approach.
How does it work?
The Eco Rating evaluation assesses devices’ different environmental indicators (e.g. carbon footprint or resource depletion) and material efficiency criteria, which results in an overall score on a scale from 1 to 100. The closer the score is to 100, the better the sustainability performance of the device.
The highest possible Eco Rating score is 100 for maximum environmental performance. The closer the score is to 100, the better the environmental performance of the device.
In addition, there are 5-sub-category scores for Durability, Repairability, Recyclability, Climate efficiency and Resource efficiency that show how each device performs in these specific areas.
What do I look for?
The Eco Rating label is easily recognisable and is designed to give consumers consistent, accurate information, helping them to identify and compare the most sustainable mobile phones. Each participating mobile operator will display the Eco Rating on device information at the point of sale.
Tips to optimise the ecological performance of your smartphone
Around 80% of the greenhouse gas emissions over the lifetime of a device occur during the production stage. To reduce the carbon emissions associated with a mobile phone, keep it for as long as possible before replacing it.
The battery inside a mobile phone is a sensitive item. Quick charging, trickle charging and exposure to excessively cold or warm temperatures will reduce its useful life.
Do not keep the device in environments that are too hot or too humid. This will increase corrosion and can impact components, including the battery.
Always ensure the device is kept up to date with the latest available software updates. Missed software updates can give the impression that the device is performing poorly or incorrectly – encouraging people to replace the device early.
Check if the supplier or operator offers a take back program– it might be possible for the device to be refurbished and resold.
In case the display has too many scratches or is broken and/or the battery has too low capacity and/or other parts do not function anymore, do not throw away the device but bring it to an authorized repair center. A repair is often much cheaper than purchasing a new device.
All devices that can’t be used anymore should not be thrown in the normal “household garbage” but should be brought back to a recycling point to extract raw materials, metals and minerals.