New global criterion will set the basis for defining “environmentally-preferable” mobile devices
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), January 06, 2011 – Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S, news, filings) today revealed its leading role in collaboration with UL Environment in the development of a new international sustainability standard for mobile devices. Sprint is currently the only wireless carrier to have participated in development of the new standard, which will set minimum environmental requirements for “environmentally preferred mobile devices.” UL Environment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.), will discuss the draft standard during “The Green Marketplace” seminar on Jan. 7 at the 2011 International CES in Las Vegas. Interim Sustainability Requirements will be released by the end of March 2011.
“Sprint is proud to have worked so closely with UL Environment to lead the development of this new international sustainability standard for mobile devices,” says Ralph Reid, Sprint Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility. “Just as Sprint was the first carrier to introduce green design guidelines and a proprietary Eco-logo, an important springboard for this current effort, UL Environment’s work to establish this new global criterion raises the bar across the industry. Ultimately, this new standard will help propel our entire industry forward to a more environmentally responsible future.”
The final version of the standard, developed in collaboration with the mobile device community, will consider the entire life cycle of mobile phone products, from raw material extraction to disposal. The new global criterion will center on energy efficiency, recycled content, packaging and other product life cycle details necessary to determine the environmental impact of a mobile device. The standard will also address materials, manufacturing and operations, health and the environment, product performance and product disposal. Products will be scored through a point system. Points will be tiered into three levels: silver, gold and platinum. This groundbreaking standard is the first independent third-party set of environmental criterion for mobile devices.
“We applaud Sprint for showing sustainability leadership and continuing to build on their commitment to sustainability through this collaboration with UL Environment,” says Stephen Wenc, president of UL Environment. “Demand for socially responsible devices is expected to increase significantly over the next few years, and this new standard will provide the basis for the marketplace to identify and select better products with regard to environmental sustainability.”
UL (Underwriters Laboratories Inc.) and members of a small pilot group, including Sprint, are finalizing Interim Sustainability Requirements for release by the end of first quarter 2011. Sprint is the only wireless carrier in the pilot group. A formal Standards Technical Panel (STP), which will include Sprint, as well as other carriers, manufacturers, retailers, and NGOs, will carry the pilot group’s final ISR to completion, which UL will then publish as an open, ANSI-based standard. (While anyone may apply to participate in the STP, no single “interest group” can make up more than 33 percent of the panel).
Sprint’s industry-leading role in corporate responsibility and environmental sustainability continues to receive recognition. For the second year in a row, Sprint ranked highest among all U.S. telecom companies on Newsweek’s 2010 Rankings of America’s Greenest Companies at No. 6, up from No. 15 in 2009. Sprint was also ranked highest among the wireless carrier industry on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s “Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index.” Sprint also recently received Frost & Sullivan’s 2010 North American Green Excellence of the Year Award in Mobile & Wireless for its demonstrated leadership and commitment to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, proactive approach to the deployment of renewable energy and aggressive cell-phone recycling efforts.
ABOUT SPRINT NEXTEL
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48.8 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
Sarabeth Stone, 703-689-8797