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Finding a green mobile phone

If greening mobile gadgets is a priority for you -- either individually or from a corporate standpoint -- there are two new reports that will help you apply this thinking to one of the most "disposable" of all gadgets, your mobile phone.I'm obviously being facetious when I call mobile phones disposable, but the rate at which we replace them suggests we need to pay more attention to this issue.

If greening mobile gadgets is a priority for you -- either individually or from a corporate standpoint -- there are two new reports that will help you apply this thinking to one of the most "disposable" of all gadgets, your mobile phone.

I'm obviously being facetious when I call mobile phones disposable, but the rate at which we replace them suggests we need to pay more attention to this issue. I've done a couple of pieces about this topic, because Greenpeace has a greener electronics guide that will help in this area, but IDC and the GoodGuide publishers have two more recent rankings.

The IDC analysis focuses on the mobile phone operators, looking at the carriers' efforts to help consumers and businesses with end-of-life turn in, green handset sourcing, packaging, and the energy usage behind their wireless networks. The report suggests that five operators are paying more attention to these issues than others. Those operators are (in alphabetical order):

  • AT&T, for its broad focus on trying to pick sustainable handsets
  • Deutsche Telekom, for is focus on the raw materials in the mobile phones on its network
  • Sprint Nextel, for its efforts to develop eco-criteria that have been used to develop a specific line of green mobile phones
  • Telefonica, which has developed an eco-rating system for handset being sold in the United Kingdom
  • Vodafone, which is focused on materials sourcing for mobile phones on its network

Of course, I know that many of you don't have a choice about the mobile phones you're supporting, because your company's employees are bringing in their own devices and using them for business purposes. If you have an opportunity to influence the handset choices, you might want to direct them to the GoodGuide's Cell Phone Product Ratings. The 576 products that are rated are all considered for their impact on health (radiation levels), the environment (materials and recycling policies) and society (as in labor practices supported by the company). Here are some of the top-rated and worst-rated phones.

The Best

  • Nokia C6
  • Samsung Blue Earth
  • Sony Ericcson Experia
  • Palm Pixi
  • Motorola Citrus

The Worst

  • BlackBerry Bold 9780
  • LG Nite
  • Garmin-ASUS Garminfone
  • Casio Exilim
  • Sharp STX-2

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