Eco Index

How green is my mobile phone: Telefónica Germany rates the sustainability of mobile phones

MUNICH. How green is my mobile phone? The answer to this question is available now from Telefónica Germany. The company is one of the first telecommunication providers to introduce a rating system in Germany that assesses the environmental and social compatibility of mobile phones. The system is called Eco Index. As a result, and effective immediately, customers can find information online about the sustainability aspects of their preferred mobile phone. Starting in autumn, that information will also be available in shops.
By means of a point system the customer can quickly learn about the environmental and social compatibility of the mobile phones offered on www.o2.de. The Eco Index takes into account the impact of mobile phones primarily with regard to the environment. For instance, the devices are checked to see if they contain substances and materials that are toxic or hazardous to one's health, if the packaging can be recycled and how sustainable the use of resources is during the production process. Can programmes be used for navigation or does the device have an integrated camera, thereby rendering the use of other hardware unnecessary? Such issues have a positive impact on the rating - as in the case of smartphones.
André Krause, CFO of Telefónica Germany, explains: "The special thing about the Eco Index is that even social aspects are taken into account, such as the working conditions under which the device was produced or whether or not materials from crisis regions were used. It's important to us that we enable our customers to have a sustainable lifestyle. As part of that, they should be able to rate as many of our mobile phones as possible in terms of their environmental and social compatibility."
Eco Index was developed by Telefónica in collaboration with Forum for the Future, a British NGO. It was launched in Great Britain last August. With the introduction of Eco Index in Germany, Telefónica is already evaluating more than 80 percent of the end devices that the company offers. Over the coming weeks, all devices offered by participating manufacturers should be subjected to a comparison. Additional information about the how the Eco Index system works can be found at the following link: http://www.o2.de/goto/eco-index Dialogue about sustainable consumption (in German): www.diskutiere.de After the introduction of the Eco Index system, Telefónica is putting the following topic up for discussion: Is sustainable consumption and a sustainable lifestyle possible in the age of smartphones, apps and such? If so, how? An open online dialogue at www.diskutiere.de (in German) will kick off on 6 June 2011 under the title of "Why be green and fair - mobile phones should be smart, fast and chic! Isn't that the main thing?" All interested parties are invited to participate here in the discussion.
Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG and its brands O2 and Alice belong to Telefónica Europe and are part of the Spanish telecommunication group Telefónica S.A. The Company offers its German private and business customers postpaid and prepaid mobile telecom products as well as innovative mobile data services based on the GPRS and UMTS technologies. In addition, the integrated communications provider also offers DSL fixed network telephony and high-speed internet. According to a network test by "connect" magazine (edition 12/10), the O2 network is top of the list when it comes to reliable file downloads and champion in the telephony category. In the overall result the company is on second position. Telefónica Europe has more than 57 million mobile and fixed network customers in Great Britain, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany.