Eco Rating 2.0 has arrived

We’ve teamed up with leading sustainability non-profit Forum for the Future and Vodafone to launch a ground breaking, shared rating system to help customers compare mobile devices based on environmental credentials.

This industry first, called Eco Rating 2.0, provides a standardised score so consumers can make informed decisions based on comparable sustainability ratings, irrespective of device make or network provider. Mobile devices are rated from zero to five based on manufacturers’ answers to a number of questions, which cover information on the lifecycle of devices, responsible design features and manufacturing choices. Further questions evaluate the material composition of the devices, the efficiency of their transport, their longevity, and the ways they enable more sustainable lifestyles.

Although some manufacturers and network providers have reported the social and environmental impacts of devices before, the lack of comparability between independent approaches has prevented consumers from comparing one mobile device against another.

Eco Rating 2.0 is different – it is based on rigorous independent research so consumers can choose their mobile devices with confidence and transparency. The latest, Eco Rating 2.0, was collaboratively developed by Forum for the Future, O2 and Vodafone, with feedback from other network providers and manufacturers. EcoVadis, who operate the leading supply chain sustainability rating network, has contributed sustainability scorecards on manufacturers, which are incorporated in overall Eco Rating 2.0 device ratings.

It replaces separate ratings previously used by O2 and Vodafone. Orange has confirmed it will adopt the system in 2015. Eco Rating 2.0 provides a rational approach to sustainability and reduces confusion amongst consumers.

Sally Uren, CEO at Forum for the Future, said: “The cross-network compatibility of Eco Rating 2.0 speaks so much of common sense, and is a great example of the potential for change when collaborating on shared challenges. Eco Rating 2.0 answers the demand from consumers for transparency on their purchases, in part driven by the strong personal connection people have to their mobile devices. A common understanding of the sustainability issues surrounding the manufacture, retail and use of mobile devices goes a long way in driving change – both in consumer awareness and in the future design and social impact of mobile devices.”

Bill Eyres, Head of Sustainability at O2, said: “We know that our customers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the technology they buy. We see Eco Rating 2.0 is the first step in in the journey towards an industry standard, building on the pioneering work we carried out with Forum for the Future to bring this innovation to market in 2010. We believe this kind of product transparency will ultimately help empower consumers to make more informed and greener choices.”

Eco Rating 2.0 is now free for interested networks and manufacturer to use with their consumers. An introduction to the tool and detailed explanation of the questions and methodology are downloadable from Forum for the Future’s website.