O2, in partnership with independent sustainability expert Forum for the Future, has launched the UK's first eco mobile phone rating scheme, with all the major players taking part.

Well, all but one that is, as Apple is clearly missing from a list that includes Nokia, Sony Ericsson, HTC, LG, Samsung and Palm.

The Guardian is reporting that Apple refused to be a part of the eco rating system and quotes Greenpeace's Gary Cook who said:

"Transparency is always an issue for consumer electronics companies, who claim that providing too much information gives away competitive advantage".

"But consumers also deserve to know the full story. While Apple has recently made important strides in eliminating toxic chemicals from its products and the reporting of their environmental footprint, it still lags behind others in transparency".

Sony Ericsson came out on top of the Apple-less league table with its Elm handset being ranked most eco-friendly. It scored a rating of 4.3 out of 5 and beat 64 other handsets to the title. Sony Ericsson also had another four devices in the top 10.

The scoring system was based on data supplied directly by the manufacturers. As well as taking into account the environmental impact of the device; other aspects such as its raw materials, the impact during its production, its packaging, its longevity, its energy efficiency as well as considering how easy it is to recycle were all considered.

"We know that sustainability is important for many of our customers and for the first time they will have the whole picture from which to make a full and balanced purchasing decision", said Ronan Dunne, O2’s UK chief executive. 

Peter Madden, CEO of Forum for the Future, said: "Billions of people worldwide are using mobile phones to organise their lives. We want to reward manufacturers who make efforts to reduce their environmental impacts and think creatively about how their devices can contribute to a better world".

For a full breakdown of the results check out O2's dedicated Think Big webpages.

Update: Our contact has just, er, contacted us to say "Apple chose not to take part in eco rating because they have their own environmental reports for the products they sell which you can see on their website".

independent sustainability experts Forum for the Future