Mobile phone service supplier O2 has today introduced an eco rating system for all the phones that it supplies and claims to be the first UK company to do so.
The company has been working with Forum for the Future, a UK environmental sustainability NGO, on the tool, which is specific to O2 in the UK. Apparently it’s been around for a while but only used internally. Now it’s become part of the description and labelling of products.
There’s good reason to include the rating, since the company’s research has shown that sustainability credentials have some influence on the purchasing decisions of 44% of consumers, with 12% stating that it would have a strong influence on them deciding to buy a phone from O2.
The tool assesses suppliers and products against a range of sustainability criteria including energy consumption, substances used, packaging and the way the company operates in its local community. The various factors and weightings are shown in the chart below.
It’s all part of O2’s aim to be recognised as a UK leader on sustainability by 2012. The company has introduced a range of community and environmental initiatives under the broad areas of People and Planet. There’s more information here.
This looks like a good idea and it seems that a lot of effort has been put into it – the company has been working on it for a year. But it does require manufacturers’ cooperation and some of the vendors don’t seem to want to play ball. For example, all the BlackBerry and Apple phone Eco ratings say ‘Not Participating’ and there’s no mention of the rating for Dell phones.