Samsung is the first mobile phone company to achieve the new international smartphone certification, which rates the devices on environmental design and socially responsible manufacturing. The company’s Galaxy S4 smartphone received certification from TCO Development, which launched this rating system last month. Sweden-based TCO has been certifying IT products for more than 20 years, and added smartphones to the list this April. Smartphones are evaluated using life cycle analysis, with requirements for Compliance with all criteria is verified by an independent, accredited third party. Some criteria specific to smartphones includes: all surfaces that come into human contact bust be nickel-free, it must come with a headset, and be free from beryllium. Samsung is currently the largest manufacturer of smartphones worldwide, with its Galaxy S4 being the top-rated smartphone in Consumer Reports. “The demand for environmentally friendly products informed our decision making process when we were creating the GALAXY S4,” says JK Shin, CEO of IT & Mobile Communications for Samsung. TCO Certified Smartphones has the goal of placing higher sustainability demands on smartphones in order to make it easier for buyers to choose sustainably designed devices. Big corporate and public sector buyers that have sustainable procurement objectives rely on these certifications. The recent explosive growth in smartphone purchases brings many challenges to sustainability such as hazardous substances, e-waste, and sub-standard working conditions in factories.
Source: Samsung Smarphone First to Be Certified Sustainable, May 21, 2013