AT&T in collaboration with sustainable business strategists BSR is developing an eco-ratings system that will result in easy-to-read labels for all AT&T-branded mobile devices. Implementation is expected in the next few months.
The eco-rating system will cover attributes such as: environmentally preferable materials, energy efficiency, responsible end-of-life treatment and environmentally-responsible manufacturing.
The system will be based on 15 criteria – ranging from percentage of recycled metals used in the device, to restriction of compounds such as lead, cadmium, mercury, nickel and antimony trioxide/antimony compounds. Device manufacturers will submit the information, AT&T said.
The overall device rating will reflect the composite score of these attributes, and AT&T plans to add the ratings icon to in-store collateral later this year.
With the new system, AT&T hopes to set a standard for industry-wide sustainability awareness that the company says is a direct response to customer wants and needs.
Last fall, AT&T transitioned to a plant-based plastic in packaging for its branded wireless accessories. The plastic is composed of up to 30 percent plant-based materials, sourced from sugarcane-based ethanol.
Consumers will be able to visit a website to see detailed information about how AT&T and BSR set up the ratings and the overall impact of mobile devices, the companies said.
The announcement comes as Apple’s device manufacturing environment and suppliers receive intense attention, and the company works to give the public more information about its manufacturing processes.