Photo via dan taylor via Flickr CC
UL Environment is a fairly new label for green electronics, just launching in January of last year. Underwriters Laboratories has always been a trustworthy entity, though the first company to earn a UL Environment label was LG, who had a SteamWasher and an LCD television set vetted (all amid controversy over their abuse of the Energy Star label). UL Environment is working to expand their certification to more electronics, so soon we may see cell phones sporting a new green label. According to a press release, UL Environment is hashing out their sustainability standards for handheld consumer electronic products, starting with cell phones. They're hoping it will help manufacturers design and produce greener products, and assist consumers in selecting eco-friendly options.
"Handheld electronics are increasingly popular in today's society, but not covered by existing environmental standards," said Stephen Wenc, president of UL Environment, Inc. "We saw a real market need for developing a standard that guides manufacturers in creating more environmentally-friendly options for some of the most popular consumer technologies."
The standards will include everything in a product's life cycle, from raw materials to manufacture, from use and disposal, from energy efficiency to packaging. No doubt shifting requirements in material source disclosure will take part in the standards. The group hopes that standards will be complete by late 2010, so we may see the certification appear on products during 2011.
Along with Energy Star and EPEAT, UL Environment may prove (we hope) to be one of the most trustworthy certifiers for electronics. Let's hope their developing standards are up to par. Here's what UL Environment has to say about their standards:
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