The labelling system that identifies the most sustainable mobile phones arrives in Latin America with the telco in seven of its eight operations
Telefónica implements Eco Rating, a labelling system that identifies the most sustainable mobile phones, in all its markets by extending it to its operations in Latin America where the operator is present: Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay, with the exception of Venezuela, as it does not market devices there. The operator had already implemented it in Spain, Germany, the UK and Brazil.
This announcement paves the way for Eco Rating to become a global standardised labelling system, providing consumers around the world with consistent and transparent information on the environmental impact of their mobile phones and enabling them to incorporate it into purchasing decisions.
Eco Rating already evaluates more than 200 mobile phone models from 16 manufacturers, doubling the number of qualified devices at its launch in May 2021.
Telefónica’s commitment to the environment is a fundamental pillar of its actions, and it has had a Climate Change Office for more than 16 years and has been on the CDP A List for eight years. The company focuses all its actions on reducing its environmental impact by decoupling its growth from the emissions generated, reducing the consumption of natural resources and becoming a zero waste company by recycling 98% of its waste.
With this initiative, in addition to promoting the circular economy and responsible consumption, Telefónica encourages innovation and the implementation of more environmentally friendly actions throughout the life cycle of handsets, especially among its suppliers.
Eco Rating was launched in May 2021 jointly by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica (under its O2, Movistar and vivo brands), Telia Company and Vodafone to provide consistent and accurate information to consumers on the environmental impact of mobile phones and smartphones in relation to their production, use and transport.
The Eco Rating methodology
Based on information provided by handset manufacturers, each handset is comprehensively assessed and assigned an overall Eco Rating score out of a maximum of 100 to indicate the environmental performance of the device over its entire lifecycle.
Eco Rating applies a consistent, fair and objective assessment methodology across 19 different criteria, culminating in a single score for each device. In addition, the Eco Rating label highlights five key aspects of mobile device sustainability:
• Durability – Provides information on device ruggedness, battery life and the warranty period of the device and its components.
• Repairability – covers the ease with which the device can be repaired, including the design of the mobile phone and supporting activities that could increase the lifetime of the product, improving its repairability, reusability and upgradeability. The higher the score, the better the performance of these aspects.
• Recyclability – The ability to recover and disassemble the device’s components, the information provided to enable this and the ability to recycle its materials.
• Climate Efficiency – The greenhouse gas emissions of the device over its entire life cycle. The better the score here, the lower the climate impact.
• Resource Efficiency – The impact caused by the amount of scarce raw materials used in the device (e.g. gold for the manufacture of electronic components) in relation to the depletion of natural resources; the higher the score, the lower the impact on the planet’s resource depletion.
The Eco Rating methodology is based on industry knowledge and best practices from previous environmental labelling initiatives. It has been developed with the technical support and oversight of IHOBE (a publicly owned agency specialising in Economic Development, Sustainability and the Environment), with the participation of mobile phone vendors, using the latest EU, ITU-T, ETSI and ISO standards and guidelines, with new parameters introduced where appropriate.