What your new phone’s Eco Rating means – and why it matters

How to understand Eco Rating and make greener choices

From the clothes we wear to the tech we buy, we’d all like to live in a way that’s kind to the planet. But figuring out which products are eco-friendly can be… well, really confusing. That’s why we’ve introduced Eco Rating. It’s a new environmental labelling system designed to help you make more sustainable choices when buying mobile handsets from O2.

It’s very simple. Every phone included in the initiative has an overall Eco Rating score out of 100. See a high score? That means the device is one of the most sustainable on the market right now. It’s all part of our commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions across our entire value chain by 2040.

You’ll find a device’s Eco Rating label in its product guide, with each handset scored on five different sustainability categories. Its overall Eco Rating is the average of these scores. Read on to learn more about why each category matters – and how we’re giving you opportunities to reduce your carbon impact.

phone with low battery on screen


The Eco Rating score doesn’t just reflect how sustainably a mobile phone was made. It represents the device’s environmental performance across its entire life cycle – because a truly sustainable phone lasts a long time. “Durability” refers to how robust a handset is, its battery life, and the device’s and components’ guarantee period.

phone being repaired


As you probably guessed, a phone’s “repairability” score relates to how easily it can be repaired. The higher the score, the more potential a phone has to be repaired, reused and upgraded. This can dramatically increase a phone’s life cycle, especially if you choose to upgrade to a new handset in the future – the old device’s materials can be used in new devices long after you’ve moved on.

pile of phones


Another obvious one, but important. A phone’s “recyclability” score reveals to what extent the phone can be taken apart and its components recovered. That doesn’t just mean the materials themselves are easily recycled. It also reflects whether the manufacturer has provided information to allow recycling to take place. This is a crucial move happening across industries, from textiles to food packaging, and tech is no different.

person standing on a mountain

Climate efficiency

A mobile phone’s “climate efficiency” score indicates its greenhouse gas emissions. That doesn’t just mean during production but across its whole life cycle – from production to disposal. It’s very straightforward: the higher the score here, the lower the device’s climate impact is.


Resource efficiency

Building a phone requires raw materials. This score highlights whether the device was made using scarce raw materials such as gold (often used to create electronic components). It also assesses the environmental impact of using those scarce materials. A higher score means your device has had less of an effect on the availability of materials.

person being happy

How O2 gives you access to greener choices

As part of our commitment to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, we want to help you make informed choices about the products and services you’re using. This means providing you with more opportunities to reduce your carbon impact through initiatives such as Eco Rating. That’s not the only way we’re switching things up for the benefit of the planet: find out more about how O2 Recycle and Like New initiatives can help you make more sustainable tech choices.

Published: 6 Mar 2023