ITU Approves Energy Efficient Universal Phone Charger

© ITU22 October 2009: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has approved an energy-efficient universal mobile phone charger that is expected to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions.

The new Universal Charging Solution (UCS) will benefit all mobile phone users because it will fit all future handsets, therefore enabling the same charger to be used regardless of the make and model of all mobile phone handsets. This is therefore expected to cut down the number of chargers produced, shipped and subsequently discarded and will also mean that users worldwide will be able to charge their mobiles anywhere from any available charger, while also reducing the energy consumed while charging. The UCS chargers will include a 4-star or higher efficiency rating, which is up to three times more energy efficient than an unrated charger. The new UCS standard was based on input from the GSM Association (GSMA), which predicts a 50% reduction in standby energy consumption, elimination of 51,000 tonnes of redundant chargers, and a subsequent annual reduction of 13.6 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. The Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), Malcolm Johnson, highlighted the importance of this development, noting that it is “a significant step in reducing the environmental impact of mobile charging…”

Standardization of the solution within ITU was completed by the ITU Study Group on Environment and Climate Change, and will hasten broad adoption by industry. The ITU has promoted the significance of ICTs as a major cross-sectoral tool in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, advocating a role for them in the climate change agreement to be discussed in Copenhagen. [ITU press release]