UL Environment, the green certification arm of Underwriters Laboratories group, believes a need exists to develop sustainability standards for handheld consumer devices like mobile phones. It now plans to develop these standards as a means to assist manufacturers, consumers and retailers in identifying more sustainable options when purchasing these devices.
The new UL Environment mobile device sustainability standards, which will first target mobile phones, will be based on environmental assessment of a product’s entire life cycle, from raw materials to manufacture, use and disposal. It is expected to address energy efficiency, recycled content and packaging, among other elements, according to the company, and will draw upon feedback from UL Environment’s Standard Technical Panels, comprised of stakeholders such as manufacturers, government entities, non-governmental organizations and consumer interest groups.
“Handheld electronics are increasingly popular in today’s society, but not covered by existing environmental standards,” said Stephen Wenc, president of UL Environment, in a statement. “We saw a real market need for developing a standard that guides manufacturers in creating more environmentally-friendly options for some of the most popular consumer technologies.”