Earlier this summer, AT&T conducted a survey to find out how important environmental sustainability is to customers when they buy a new mobile phone. The company found that 60 percent of potential buyers consider the environmental impact of a phone before making a purchase. As a result of the findings, the carrier is introducing an eco-rating system into their stores. The label will include all pertinent environmental information and a rating based on it.
The devices are rated with five categories in mind and each category has a point value. For example, having less hazardous materials earns 4 points, product energy efficiency 2 points and environmentally responsible manufacturing, 3 points. The more points the device has, the better the rating, they must earn at least 14 points to get a five star rating. The only phone to earn that so far is the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate. AT&T isn’t the first company to think about the impact their phones have on the environment, a few years ago Sprint introduced green initiatives that included the addition of eco-devices to their line-up and a buy back program to recycle phones. Verizon has similar initiatives.
The only phone not included in AT&T’s eco-rating system is the iPhone, which after their recent EPEAT debacle isn’t much of a surprise. Since the carrier has said future devices will be rated, maybe Apple can earn a good rating next year.