UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), and the Green Electronics Council (GEC), announced today a collaboration to bring a mobile-device category to the EPEAT® registry of greener electronics. Together, the organizations will work with manufacturers, environmental groups, and purchasers to align the UL110 standard for mobile phones with GEC’s requirement for EPEAT.
UL is first new standards-development organization associated with EPEAT since 2006
MARIETTA, Ga., July 16, 2013 – UL Environment, a business unit of UL (Underwriters Laboratories), and the Green Electronics Council (GEC), announced today a collaboration to bring a mobile-device category to the EPEAT® registry of greener electronics. Together, the organizations will work with manufacturers, environmental groups, and purchasers to align the UL110 standard for mobile phones with GEC’s requirement for EPEAT.
After approval, the updated standard is expected to debut in early 2014. UL 110 will serve as the basis for a new mobile-device EPEAT category. This is the first time the Green Electronics Council has incorporated an environmental standard from an organization not involved in the EPEAT system’s 2006 launch.
"We are thrilled to be at the forefront of advancing health and sustainability as key priorities for manufacturers and purchasers of mobile phones," said Sara Greenstein, President of UL Environment. "This marks the first time a non-IEEE standard has been considered for inclusion on the EPEAT registry. By leveraging the solid science behind the UL 110 sustainability standard, we look forward to providing government purchasers and corporations with improved access to mobile devices with reduced environmental impact."
With an average lifespan of 18 months or less, users dispose of mobile phones at an ever-increasing rate. According to a 2012 EPA report, approximately 152,000,000 mobile devices (including cellphones, smartphones and pagers) were disposed of in 2010. Thus, sustainability and recyclability become more and more critical. It is estimated that in 2012, over 108.8 million smartphones were purchased in the U.S. alone.
UL’s ECOLOGO Certification to UL 110 (Sustainability for Mobile Phones) is based on the environmental and human health aspects of a mobile phone’s entire lifecycle. This way, manufacturers, retailers, and purchasers looking for environmentally preferable mobile devices have an easy way to identify them. Inclusion of such a standard in EPEAT ensures that federal purchasers know which devices comply with federal purchasing requirements.
"Our collaboration with UL Environment dating back to 2009 helped shape a third-party standard all carriers can now follow," said Amy Hargroves, Director of Corporate Responsibility for Sprint. "At Sprint, we require all wireless phones to go through the UL 110 certification process, and this new partnership between UL Environment and EPEAT will further accelerate the adoption of the UL 110 standard throughout the wireless industry. We’re proud to say Sprint carries more UL 110-certified devices than any other carrier, which gives us a unique value proposition in the marketplace."
Mobile phone manufacturers are in agreement that the EPEAT and UL 110 initiative demonstrates further progress towards a more sustainable marketplace.
"LG is proud of its long relationship with both EPEAT and UL. Working with UL Environment as an early adopter of the UL 110 standard reflects our commitment to sustainability as a core business principle across a wide range of product categories," said John I. Taylor, Vice President, Public Affairs, LG Electronics USA. "Certifying LG smartphones to UL 110 further verifies those efforts, and we embrace the emerging EPEAT registration for mobile phones as a way to help environmentally conscious customers identify mobile devices that best meet their needs."
As the first manufacturer to certify to the UL 110 standard, Samsung views the incorporation of this standard into EPEAT as the future of mobile device manufacturing. "Having worked closely with UL Environment since the inception of the standard, we’re proud to offer one of the widest selections of environmentally recognized mobile phones in market," said Michael Moss, Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs for Samsung Electronics America.
"Mobile devices are a rapidly evolving category, presenting a clear opportunity to find ways to reduce their environmental impact," said Robert Frisbee, Green Electronics Council CEO. "Collaborating with UL Environment underscores our commitment to pursue the ‘best of the best’ standards for the EPEAT system."
In addition to registration in the EPEAT registry, mobile phones can also be fully certified to UL 110 by UL Environment and will then be listed in the Sustainable Product Database at ul.com/environment. Certified mobile phones can also carry UL Environment’s ECOLOGO Certification mark indicating they’ve achieved certification to the UL 110 standard, allowing consumers to easily find those phones at point of purchase. To date, the following manufacturers and carriers have products certified to the UL 110 standard: HTC Corp., Kyocera, LG Electronics, Motorola Mobility, Inc., Pantech, Research In Motion, Ltd. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., and ZTE Corporation.
The EPEAT system evaluates products on a lifecycle basis, addressing their design for recycling, elimination of toxic substances, use of recycled and recyclable materials, product longevity, energy efficiency, corporate performance and packaging, among other attributes. EPEAT is used as an environmental purchasing requirement by eight national governments, including the United States, as well as by educational and healthcare systems and multinational corporations.
About UL Environment
UL Environment works to advance global sustainability, environmental health, and safety by supporting the growth and development of environmentally preferable products, services, and organizations. We help companies achieve their sustainability goals-and help purchasers, specifiers, retailers, governments, and consumers find products they can trust. UL Environment offers environmental claim validations, multi-attribute product certifications, environmental product declarations, indoor air quality certification, product emissions testing, organizational sustainability certification, and consulting. For more information, visit www.ul.com/environment, or connect with us via @ULEnvironment, http://www.linkedin.com/company/ul-environment, and http://www.facebook.com/ULEnvironment .