Ranking systems are used for pretty much everything, in one way or another. And ranking how "green" your piece of technology is one way all those eco-friendly individuals out there can determine whether or not your gadget is the next thing they'll shell out their money for. Thanks to a new system brought together from UK carrier O2, cell phones are making their presence known on the green list. However, you shouldn't expect to see the iPhone on there -- Apple's not allowing their device to be tested, or listed.
The carrier is working with a sustainability advisory group to put the ranking system together. It's called the Forum for the Future, and it rates everything you might expect, and how it impacts the environment. Rating things like packaging, manufacturing, whether it can be recycled or not, and energy efficiency, among other things. Devices are scored in a zero to 5 system, and there are 63 questions that are "asked" when each device is being ranked.
As you might expect, other major manufacturers are jumping on board. Companies like Nokia, Samsung, and Sony Ericsson have already provided handsets for the ranking system. And O2 is actually making a good start, as 93 percent of their handsets currently available for purchase should be covered in the ranking system soon enough. Which is exactly why it's strange that the iPhone isn't included in the list. Another manufacturer that's not present currently is the Canada-based Research in Motion, which manufactures BlackBerry handsets. However, RIM has stated that they will allow their devices to be ranked by early 2011.
In a move that may or may not be surprising for most people, when Apple was asked about their position on the new environmental ranking system, the spokesperson said nothing about it directly. Instead, they would rather you look at their own environmental tests, which they publicly release on their website. Apple suggests that the iPhone has a very minimal footprint on the environment. Organizations like Greenpeace have scolded Apple in the past for not being transparent enough in this regard, so this probably won't help that picture at all.
[via The Guardian]