This blog is by Sandra Boone, Communications Associate for the BlueGreen Alliance.
I don’t know about you, but every time I have to renew my cell phone contract I get overwhelmed. Minutes… data plans… overage fees… All of these numbers start spinning in my head, and I can lose sight of other important questions like the environmental impact of the product I’m holding in my hand.
AT&T is trying to help answer that last item by launching an “Eco Ratings” scale (appearing in-stores for the first time today).
According to the company, this new rating system will allow customers to understand a product’s environmental impact by giving them a “simply, easy to read-and-understand label” that scores products based on the following criteria:
1. Hazardous Substances
- Restriction of lead, cadmium, and mercury in the battery
- RoHS Compliance/Restriction of BFR, PVH, chlorine compounds
- Restriction of extractable nickel
- Restriction of antimony trioxide/antimony compounds, beryllium compounds
2. Environmentally-Preferable Materials
- Meets AT&T ratings system environmentally preferable packaging criteria
- Amount of PCW plastic
- Percentage of recycled metals
3. Product Energy Efficiency
- GSMA/OMTP Universal Charging Solution, Meets no-load consumption
- Energy efficiency features; Full charge notification/power management
4. End of life/Product Take-Back
- Battery removability and phone disassembly
- Mobile device recyclability rate
- Provision of recycling information and promotion on the phone and or packaging
5. Environmentally Responsible Manufacturing
- ISO 14001 or EMAS
- GHG emissions reduction targets and public reporting of performance against targets
- Sustainability reporting
Well, that’s one question down. Now, how likely is it that I'll drop this phone in water?