Finding the Greenest Mobile Phones
It is getting more difficult to find information for responsible phone purchasing, compared to our last look in 2014. Here is what is currently available.Certification/Registry Organizations
I could find only one model listed by only one organization: Germany's Blue Angel's certification of the Fairphone 2.
EPEAT does not register mobile devices, except for tablets and Nordic Ecolabel does not offer mobile devices. The Environmental Working Group has suspended publication its cellphone radiation database.
TCO Development updated its smartphones program (TCO Certified Smartphones 2) in September 2015 . TCO tells me there are no TSO Certified phones because no manufacturer has submitted devices for certification. There are some TSO Certified tablets.Service Providers
Sprint tells me that, "All Sprint Prepaid and Postpaid handsets are required to complete UL 110 certification. As a result, Sprint has more UL 110 certified wireless phones than any other wireless carrier in the world. " UL 110 is a "Standard for Sustainability for Mobile Phones".Equipment Manufacturers
Apple publishes detailed Environmental Reports for its products, such as this report for the iPhone 7.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency gave Samsung the Cutting Edge Champion Award in its 2015 Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge. "Samsung Electronics is recognized for its vision to make the Galaxy S6 mobile phone, its packaging, and its accessories meet high environmental standards while maintaining its status as a high-end product. Samsung has reduced the carbon emissions in each consecutive S Series phone by an annual average of 14%. This aggregates to 58 billion kg CO2 since 2011— the equivalent of planting 4.7 million trees. "
Here are previous posts for those looking to reuse an older unit.
Jul 2013 
May 2013 
Sep 2012 
|More Green Info|
|Blackberry / RIM||9310|
|HTC||EVO - 5 models
One - 5 models
|Kyocera / Sanyo||Torqu
|LG||Rumor Reflex - 2 models
Optimus - 5 models
Viper 4G LTE
|Motorola||Photon Q 4G LTE||not offered|
|Samsung||SPH - 9 models
|Sony Ericsson||Not offered||Xperia P,S,U,go|||
Notes for table
(Most original references have been removed as they are no longer in service)
 The Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics does not rank individual products, rather, it ranks consumer electronics companies according to policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. Vertatique's tracking of Greenpeace's rankings over the years shows Nokia and Sony Ericsson to be consistent top performers.
 UK mobile services provider Telefónica O2's "Eco rating"of 4.0 or better out of 5.0 for the phones they sell from participating manufacturers. O2 publishes detailed rating methodology developed by Forum for the Future.
 Greenpeace Survey rates products submitted by participating manufacturers on a 10-point scale. The hypothetical score of a "fictional product that combined the best features of all submitted products within each category" is 8.18 for mobile phones and 7.92 for smart phones. We report models scoring 5.0 or better; the score is shown in parenthesis.
 TCO appears not to have certified any more phones since the May 2013 certifications.
 Forty models are listed in UL Environment's Sustainable Product Database .
Our experience with mobile/smart phones is typical of the challenges sorting through green ratings of electronics products and companies. The lack of good information is also hampered by the lack of mobile phone listings from the European ecolabels.
We are unaware of any volume buyer of mobile devices (business, government, or education) that significantly weights green criteria in its purchasing decisions. Please comment below if you know of green-oriented volume purchasers.
Take a look at who are the greenest telecom providers.
@ecologee told me in June 2010 that he has been using his Samsung Crest E1107, an inexpensive solar-powered GSM phone, for a couple of weeks now without plugging into the grid. His objective is to get through the summer without doing so. Getting through the short days of the German winter will be more of a challenge, as the phone is limited to 5-10 minutes of talk time for 1 hour of solar charging. The E1107 Crest, available in much of the world but not North America, offers a number of features, from a flashlight to an FM radio, that would make it attractive to those traveling off the beaten path . . . as long as they can find enough power for all those features.
For those looking for greener approaches to charging their existing units, blogger Kathryn Vercillo offers 10 solutions, ranging from solar to stored vampire power.
French company Wysips claims to have a solar film that can be used as a display on a mobile device to keep it charged longer. Engadget review.
Sources become dated as new models hit the market. We're always looking for new sources, please comment below if you know of any.