In an effort to raise awareness about the environmental impact of its devices, technology giant AT&T will be putting eco-rating stickers on all of their branded mobile phones. The system will go into effect later this year and will set a standard in an industry where such a big leap has yet to be made. The stickers will rate devices based on the use of low-impact materials, end of life recycling possibilities, energy-efficiency, and responsible manufacturing.
Much like the recently announced Chevrolet Ecologic stickers, the AT&T stickers give a full-circle glimpse into a products’ life. AT&T is developing the stickers along with BSR, a global sustainability consultancy which will help ensure for consumers that the ratings are third-party certified. “Increasingly, consumers are mindful of a product’s impact on the environment. We are excited to work with leading third-party organizations like BSR and our suppliers to help make it easier for our customers to learn about the environmental impact of products they plan to purchase,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility. “Our new eco-rating system will make it easier for our customers to make more informed purchasing decisions.”
A new study by Deloitte says that 54% of shoppers say that sustainability is factored into their shopping decisions. In order to rate the devices manufacturers will have to submit 15 point assessments on devices which AT&T and BSR will base their ratings on. It is a great move towards transparency to stick a rating on products but in this system there is room for wiggling on the part of the device manufacturers. Let’s hope that AT&T is doing third-party manufacturer audits to make sure their suppliers are staying true to their word — as Apple has just started to do. AT&T is the first mobile phone company to implement a widespread and transparent evaluation system like this and as Bradley said, “at the end of the day our goal is to be able to have the entire industry adopt this and improve the sustainability of device portfolios broadly.”