Earlier this year, Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Telia Company launched a new scheme in Europe called Eco Rating which allows customers to identify how durable, repairable, recyclable, climate change friendly and resource efficient smartphones are. Now, Vodafone says the scheme is launching globally and it hopes that the Eco Rating can become a global harmonised labelling system so that customers can make more informed purchasing decisions.
When the scheme launched in May this year, handsets from Bullitt Group, Doro, HMD Global, Huawei, MobiWire, Motorola/Lenovo, OnePlus, OPPO, Samsung, TCL/Alcatel, Xiaomi and ZTE were involved in the scheme. With the global expansion, three more phone makers have joined the scheme, these being Fairphone, Realme and vivoare.
Smartphones, like fast fashion, are a big problem with regards to climate change. Typically, people are on two year contracts where they upgrade after 24 months to a new device – even if the old phone still works perfectly fine. While more phone makers are starting to offer software updates for longer, some people will still prefer to buy devices according to the length of their contract. With Eco Rating, these customers can make a more informed choice about the devices they choose and how bad they are for the environment.
No smartphone is better for the environment than the one you already own, so try to stick to it for as long as possible. If, however, you absolutely have to upgrade to a new model, be sure to stay on the look out for the Eco Rating details of the phones you consider.