Apple Bows Out of O2’s “Green” Phone Rankings

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O2 has launched a new program that rates phones based on how environmentally friendly they are, but Apple isn’t interested in including the iPhone on the list. Participation is voluntary and currently includes phones O2 sells from Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, according to The Guardian.

O2 gave phone makers a list of 63 questions that it used to rank products on a scale of one to five. The questions covered the ecological impact of the device’s raw materials, how long the devices will likely last, energy efficiency, and ease of reuse or recycling.

The environmental activist group Greenpeace took the opportunity to call Apple out for a lack of manufacturing transparency. “While Apple has recently made important strides in eliminating toxic chemicals from its products and the reporting of their environmental footprint, it still lags behind others in transparency,” commented Geenpeace IT analyst Gary Cook.

Along with Apple, RIM declined to participate. The Blackberry maker, however, said it plans to get in on O2’s program sometime next year.

Apple had no comment on why it isn’t participating.

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J.M. Paris

Manufacturing transparency is not an ecologic virtue.

James R Grinter

RIM aren’t included, either.


If disclosure of manufacturing techniques is required, I feel safe in saying Apple will never have any of its devices on O2’s list.  Apple’s manufacturing techniques are part of its valuable IP, which it will not share with the world through O2’s list.  Sometimes certain groups’ requests go from unreasonable straight to absurd.  Requesting Apple to reveal its manufacturing techniques and features of its products that give them a competitive advantage falls into the absurd category.


Wow you really have to want to find that eco rating. I went to O2’s web site, and started looking at phones. The front pages all wanted to sell me an iPhone or a Blackberry. You have to drill down to find a phone that actually has a rating.

So I believe this is more story than substance.


Requesting Apple to reveal its manufacturing techniques and features of its products that give them a competitive advantage falls into the absurd category.

Hold up there. We don’t know that they’re asking for manufacturing techniques. In fact, if you want to know exactly what the questions are you can e-mail: and ask for a copy of the blank Excel sheet.

O2 claims that “Filling in the Eco rating assessment shouldn?t take more than 20 minutes per handset. It is
based on standard published data that manufacturers already routinely collect and report.”

Their information document
O2Ecoratingbrief_Aug2010.pdf explains what they’re looking for and its a combination of materials and some functionality.

Shoot, you might be able to fill it out for Apple after you read the environmental PDF for the iPhone4 and one of the iFixIt tear down pages.


Isn’t Greenpeace the same group that flagged Apple a few years ago for not having a time-line for removing a certain chemical (PVCs IIRC) from their product line, and it turned out that Apple didn’t have a time-line because they already *had* removed it?

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