Glitzy advertising and artistic display seem to have little to do with whether or not a product is “low impact”. Ad campaigns are designed to grab us, spark a desire for action and, more recently, hint at corporate responsibility.
As part of a continued effort to bring the truth about products to the public, GoodGuide, credible product life-cycle analysis juggernaut, recently published a guide to the best and worst cell phones. The organization assessed nearly 550 phones considering health, environment, and societal impacts. The results of this study may prompt a few raised eye-brows and head scratches. Below is a listing of some of the best/worst highlights:
- Blackberry Bold (3.3 out of 10): Topping the list as the most harmful big-brand phone (and company), Blackberry produces phones with a high radio frequency (RF) radiation emissions, has one of the lowest scores in the toxic and hazardous spills category and has one of the lowest rankings concerning the respect of labor and human rights.
- EVO 4G (5.3 out of 10): HTC products fall in the “so-so” middle range of the guide; thus, they are definitely not worth e-cycling or protesting. The EVO 4G series emits an average level of RF radiation. HTC receives an 8.5 for the product’s environmental impacts; however, the carbon footprint of company-wide operations are nothing to write home about.
- iPhone 3G and 4G (5.7 out of 10): Are you sitting down? If not, you might want to before reading further. Apple computers -- lovable cult-following of the electronics industry -- has a sub-par report card when compared to other big-brands such as Nokia, Samsung and Motorola. Although the iPhone scores well on product related environmental impacts, it emits one of the highest levels of RF radiation. The corporation’s efforts to reduce production impacts and develop ethical policies are lackluster at best.
- Nokia C6 (7.7 out of 10): Nokia has not been vying for the crown of most advertising dollars spent in years past. As such, they have put their money to work for better causes. The Nokia C6 received a 9.0 out of 10 in the environment category. This means that the phone’s production, use and disposal are near-perfect relative to the current market. The Nokia phones range from mid- to low-radiation and the company earns marks for above average labor and human rights policies. Three cheers for Nokia! The brand that is paving the way to corporate responsibility and transparency.
- Samsung Blue Earth (7.0 out of 10): Samsung has climbed toward the top of the green charts with the new Blue Earth cell phone. With one of the lowest radiation levels of any phone and a perfect materials and use environmental score, this may just be the healthiest phone on the market. The phone would have topped the charts had it not been for the companies mediocre environmental production practices.
GoodGuide gauges how a product manufacturer ranks against the rest of the industry. With the leadership of responsible brands, such as Nokia, the definition of true responsibility will continue to rise until our cell phones are truly in sync with nature.
To see the GoodGuide ratings in detail, visit their website.