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Samsung Galaxy S4 Awarded Sustainability Certification

If you’re in the market for a smartphone, and want to pick a device that is certified sustainably designed and responsibly manufactured, the Samsung Galaxy S4 should be at the top of your list.

We just wrote about the Fairphone, an “ethically sourced” smartphone that is due on the market sometime later this year, but the Galaxy S4, Samsung’s flagship phone, is already out and being touted as “a real life companion“, so this sustainability certification is kind of a big deal.

The S4 is the first to receive this certification, as a “TCO Certified Smartphone” from TCO Development, which has been certifying sustainability for IT products for over 20 years now. The criteria for becoming a TCO Certified Smartphone include focus areas such as socially responsible manufacturing, the reduction in hazardous materials in the device, energy efficiency, the recycling potential of the units, and health and safety while using the unit, as well as a host of other compliance standards.

“To become TCO Certified a smartphone must meet requirements across a variety of criteria including social, environmental and economic viability. In the social category, Samsung demonstrated that it is committed to socially responsible manufacturing and is compliant with International Labour Organization and United Nation conventions.

In the environmental category, it was found that the GALAXY S4 was free from many hazardous materials such as nickel, beryllium, and mercury which, if present, would have severely restricted its potential to be recycled at the end its lifecycle. In terms of economic viability, the power efficiency of the charger was praised, as was the smartphone’s industrial design which boosts reliability.” – Samsung

Because Samsung is the world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones, and the first major brand to receive the TCO certification, they may influence other large brands to submit their products to be certified as well, which could very well bring about a bigger change in sustainability and social responsibility in mobile devices.

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