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Smartphones: why the French sustainability index will not be implemented

© Pixabay/Militiamobiles

Supported by players like Fairphone, iFixit and the HOP association, it was supposed to be the great French innovation at the start of 2024. The sustainability index was a text which was to replace the repairability index already in force in France. The text will ultimately not be published in the official journal after constructive criticism from the European Commission.

The problem was not the initiative itself, but rather the scales provided for by the French text. The possibility of repairing the smartphone yourself should in particular count for 45% of the score, while the software updates aspect should only weigh 10% in the calculation of the score. In itself, the text had a good intention, since, as the government defended, it was above all a question of guiding consumers towards products that were more respectful of the environment.

France ultimately prefers to give way to a European index for greater clarity

However the updates, observe the Commission, are essential to keep a smartphone for a long time – under penalty of being deprived of most common applications in the more or less long term. A return that pushed the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Territorial Cohesion to “take note” of this “detailed opinion issued by the European Commission”, and therefore to abandon the French project.

Those who wish for a similar score to arrive, however, can rest assured: a European index of the same nature should come into force in the coming months. Text which responds, as the government wishes, to the “need to provide concrete and visible indications to the consumer to enable them to combine environmental and economic concerns on a daily basis”.

But which is also the fruit of discussions with our neighbors, and promises to be more balanced in the way in which the score is calculated. In fact, you should know that the European index was already established via a regulation that came into force in September 2023. Behind the scenes, it is said that the presence of two competing texts in France risked leading to “divergent indices” which can “not only be restrictive for economic operators, but also lead to confusion regarding the information provided to consumers.

L’European index (present in what will be called “the’energy label”) also largely covers the information that the French project wanted to highlight. It was therefore undoubtedly reasonable not to push the French project at all costs, which would have only been repeated, while confusing information for consumers.

  • France finally gives up its “sustainability index” for smartphones.
  • The text largely repeated a similar index in preparation on a European scale.
  • < li>But the scale was not without criticism, in particular because the impact of software support for smartphones counted too little in the calculation.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116