Mobiles phones from different providers not only differ in relation to design and performance, but also with respect to their environmental impact. Up to now, it was difficult for customers to obtain detailed information on the power consumption of the device or on the raw materials used in the production.
With the eco-points, Swisscom is the first provider in Switzerland to create more transparency in order to make it possible to compare the environmental performance of devices offered.
To be able to assign eco-points, Swisscom evaluates all devices from its portfolio and compares them with each other. The more points a device has, the better its performance. Thanks to the eco-points, you will in future be able to include ecological considerations in your purchase decision.
The eco-points are allocated by the independent foundation myclimate on behalf of Swisscom. The subsidiary of ETH Zurich is now an international leader in CO2 offsetting and climate education and has gathered extensive experience in the generation of life cycle assessments and product evaluations.
Three equally weighted evaluation criteria are the basis for the environmental points:
Low power consumption
myclimate measures the power consumption of the charger and mobile phone in standby mode. The lower the power consumption, the more points the device receives.
Low production energy
The production energy corresponds to the device’s “grey energy”. This is mainly determined by the size of the screen and the battery, and the chips providing the computing power. Transportation is a minor factor. The lighter the battery, the smaller the display and the lower the device’s computing power, the more points it is awarded.
Responsible raw material choices
Suppliers have a number of production methods to choose from that use varying amounts of energy. In addition, they can exclude the use of toxic materials from the production process. If the manufacturer uses recycled materials, does not use toxic materials and also uses environmental management to increase efficiency, then the mobile phone receives more points.
How meaningful are eco-points?
If a device achieves a score of 4.5 or 5 points, this indicates a highly advanced product in terms of the environment. It requires comparatively little energy in production, and its power consumption in standby mode is very low. In addition, the choice of raw materials favours the latest eco-friendly materials. A model with 1 point, on the other hand, is a bad product from an ecological perspective.
Swisscom mobile phones score an average of 3.25 out of 5 points. This corresponds to a rating of “satisfactory-good”. Devices without manufacturer information are allocated 1 point.
The high-flyers with 4 points are comparatively simple devices from Sony Ericsson and Nokia. As expected, smartphones can be found at the lower end of the scale with 2.5 to 3.5 points. This is due to the higher amount of resources required for the production of the devices and their higher power consumption while in use.
For greater simplicity and improved visibility, however, Swisscom has decided to introduce a separate category “smartphones”. Customers interested in buying a smartphone can simply find and select a model with the highest possible number of points using the portfolio summary.
What does myclimate not evaluate?
Recycling the devices
myclimate cannot ascertain at the time of purchase whether a device will be recycled at the end of its life. Swisscom, in partnership with Swisscom Mobile Aid, does however offer functional devices a second life and ensures defective devices are recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.
Working conditions in production
Due to a lack of comparable data, this criterion cannot yet be included in the evaluation. Swisscom does, however, hold its suppliers contractually liable to comply with ecological and social minimum requirements.