Telefonica subsidiary O2 has launched the UK's first sustainability consumer eco index for mobile phones--which does not include the iPhone following Apple's refusal to disclose the requisite information. RIM is also missing but has promised to have Blackberry join the new initiative sometime next year.
Developed jointly by O2 and UK sustainability think tank Forum for the Future, the eco index has the support of major manufacturers including Sony Ericsson, Nokia, HTC, LG, Palm and Samsung. Apple's defence of its decision to opt out of the index is that it already offers sufficient eco-related data on its own website but critics point out that so do other manufacturers such as Nokia who are participating in the index. O2 says the index is entirely voluntary and confirms it has no plans to include the iPhone without the cooperation of Apple. The push for the eco index came from O2's research amongst its customers which found that 44 per cent of consumers now take sustainability performance into account when purchasing a new mobile phone. As there are plans to roll out the eco index across the entire Telefonica group the scheme has considerable market muscle. For the inital index O2 ranked 65 of the mobile phones it offers through its stores, representing 93 per cent of its total market offering. And the winner? The Sony Ericsson Elm, not perhaps the best known of mobile phones on the market but it appears to be the greenest. Several phones came jointly in second including Nokia's 1800, 6700, and C7, Samsung's GT-S8500, and three more from Sony Ericsson, the Xperia X10 mini, mini pro and Zylo. The index will be displayed in all O2 retail outlets.
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