- Vodafone Foundation Australia
- Media Centre
Our Eco Rating is an easy way to see the environmental and ethical performance of many of the mobile phones that we sell.
Using information provided directly from handset manufacturers, phones are rated from one to five, where five is the most sustainable. You can find the Eco Rating displayed alongside mobile phones on our website or in our stores.
Each Eco Rating calculates the phone’s impact on the environment such as how much water is used in manufacturing and carbon emissions and ethical factors such as labour policies and health and safety practices for people assembling the phones. Ratings are higher for mobiles that contain less hazardous materials, are easy to recycle, have a longer battery life and where the manufacturer follows high standards of health and safety.
Eco Rating scores appear next to many of the mobile phones that we sell in our retail stores and on our website.
A higher rating means the mobile phone is better for the environment and for the people making the phones.
You can see the details behind the phone’s Eco Rating score, including how the phone is rated for Green design, Mobile phone life cycle, and Company performance.
There may be times when the Eco Rating score is not available for a mobile phone. This can happen if the data was not received in time to calculate the score and it will be updated soon, or the handset manufacturer has decided not to take part.
Handset manufacturers answer over 200 questions about the environmental and ethical performance of each mobile phone.
These questions are based on research about the life cycle of a mobile phone, input from our customers and stakeholders on the issues that are most important to them, international sustainability initiatives in the electronics industry, and input from environmental groups including Greenpeace’s ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’.
The scores are combined across three categories:
This shows you if a mobile phone contains special features to improve its environmental performance. Scores are higher for phones that include innovative sustainability features such as being free of hazardous chemicals, or have special energy saving modes and smart charging systems, or are made with recycled plastics and metals.
Green design makes up 1/3 of the total Eco Rating score for each phone.
This score measures the environmental impact of a mobile phone across its lifetime. The biggest impact on the environment happens within the first two stages: mining of metals and minerals and the production of the phone. The calculation includes the phone and all its components, battery, charger and packaging.
Scores are higher for mobile phones that have a smaller impact on the environment. Answers to this section are responsible for 1/3 of the total Eco Rating score for each phone.
How much raw materials a mobile phone contains, such as gold, silver, copper, tin, aluminium and oil or rare metals including tantalum, tungsten and cobalt. The mining of which can have a high environmental impact.
The amount of energy and water used to produce a phone, along with the carbon dioxide and other emissions created in the manufacturing process.
The distance travelled and mode of transport for the components used in the phone from the production site to the assembly plant. The transport of the phone to the distribution hub and to a Vodafone store.
Design features that help reduce the phone’s environmental impact when it’s used. For example, whether energy-saving settings are included, or by supplying the customer with a smart charger that switches itself off when the phone is fully charged. The amount of power needed to make a call and how long it takes the phone to recharge.
End of life
How easy it is to replace individual components, such as the battery so the phone can be used for longer. How easily materials can be separated and recovered for recycling.
This tells you how committed the manufacturer is to managing environmental and ethical issues in their operations and in their supply chain. Questions are asked about the company’s management standards, policies and procedures. Points are awarded for practices that go beyond Vodafone’s ethical standards for suppliers and what they’re legally required to do.
Company performance scores are calculated annually and make up 1/3 of the total Eco Rating score for each phone. The questions cover the following areas:
|Policies and practices to manage
|Policies and practices to manage
social and ethical issues
The Vodafone Eco Rating scores are calculated by independent organisations who are experts in environmental and ethical certifications. Vodafone and the handset manufacturers are not involved in calculating the scores.
The Mobile phone life cycle score for each phone is calculated by CODDE Bureau Veritas in France. The Green design and Corporate score are calculated by the SKM Enviros sustainability consultancy in Great Britain.
KPMG has audited the Eco Rating process and provided assurance that the methodology is being used correctly by the independent organisations calculating the scores. You can read KPMG’s assurance statement here.
Vodafone oversees the administration of this process and we evaluate the Eco Rating annually, with input from customers, environmental organisations and stakeholders to ensure the questions are relevant and fair.
Over time we’ll adapt the Eco Rating criteria to reflect progress in sustainability and technology, and encourage manufacturers to always be improving.
There a lot of things you can do to make using a mobile phone more sustainable. Here are some suggestions:
- Use our Eco Rating to compare the environmental and ethical performance of many
of the phones that we sell.
- Extend the life of your current mobile phone by giving it to someone else to use. We
offer some great SIM only plans to get you started.
- We’ve made our SIM card packaging smaller, saving 50 tonnes of paper and 14
tonnes of plastic compared to our old packaging. Find out more here.
- When your old mobile is no longer useful, drop it in a Mobile Muster bin in any of our
Vodafone stores. It will be recycled so it doesn’t end up in landfill. Some new mobile
phones come with a Mobile Muster prepaid postage bag in the box. Mobile Muster
also takes batteries, chargers and accessories.
- Paperless billing is the default billing method at Vodafone, so you’ll be reducing the
amount of paper needed for printing.
- A lot of smartphones have energy saving features built-in that can be customised.
This means you won’t have to charge you mobile so often, so you can save energy
and reduce your carbon emissions.
- When your mobile is finished charging, unplug it. Chargers continue to use a small
amount of energy when the plug is turned on, and it all adds up!
- There are some fantastic apps that can help you to reduce your environmental impact
and select ethically produced products.