Published on: 2011-05-17

The Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a strategic partnership of the ICT sector and international organisations committed to a creating a sustainable world through ICT-enabled transformation, welcomes the recent breakthrough in the adoption of ITU Recommendation L.1000 on the Universal Charger.

More than 1.6 billion chargers entered the market in 2010 mainly to replace older models and to ensure compatibility with new ICT devices1. This number is expected to increase to more than 2.2 billion by 2014 thus contributing to the growing challenge of managing electronic waste and creating an increasing burden on the environment2. GeSI hopes that the implementation of the revised ITU Recommendation L.1000 on the Universal Charger will significantly reverse this trend.

Luis Neves, Chairman of GeSI, commented: “A single Universal Charger solution for mobile phones, MP3 players and other personal electronic devices is a critical area where ICT can contribute towards sustainable development. The rapid deployment of innovative ICT solutions must be matched with commitment to create environmentally responsible products that are energy efficient, reduce the carbon footprint of the ICT sector and meet consumer needs. GeSI gives full recognition to the new international standard on the Universal Charger and calls on all relevant stakeholders to rapidly follow suit.”

GeSI has been a strong supporter of the Universal Charger solution since the launch of the initiative given its extensive activities in the areas of developing energy efficiency standards and managing electronic waste. GeSI has committed substantial resources to standardisation activities that were necessary to realise these efforts. In cooperation with the University of Genova, GeSI carried out a review of the current market and technical characteristics of chargers and power supplies of ICT devices. The initial findings of the study have contributed to the successful adoption of the updated ITU Recommendation L.1000, namely, the key elements of a micro USB as the standard connector, a detachable cable, a no load of power consumption below 0.03W, an increase in the charging current to 750 mA, the use of eco-friendly materials and consumer education.

GeSI has closely collaborated with ANEC to ensure that the consumer dimension was addressed throughout the process. ANEC, the European organisation representing consumer interests in standardisation and related legislation, expressed its support for the revised standard.

Stephen Russell, Secretary-General of ANEC, remarked: "ANEC welcomes the ambition of ITU-T to create a single charging solution suited both to mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices on the basis of a USB specification. ITU-T has acknowledged a long-time demand from consumers. We believe the European Commission should follow suit and ask for the adaptation of the existing European Standard which encompasses the charging of data-enabled mobile phones only." 

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