AT&T has launched a line of phone chargers with housings made of at least 30 percent post-consumer plastics. The wall and car chargers are also Energy Star 5-rated, meaning that they use “minimal “power when plugged in, AT&T says.
The wall chargers also meet California’s Energy Commission 2013 efficiency standards and were designed to reduce “vampire draw”, the name give to energy the charger uses when it is plugged into the wall but is not attached to a phone. The wall chargers consume less than 0.3W when not in use. AT&T says that if a customer were to leave the wall charger plugged in for a year without use, it would consume only the equivalent of a 100-watt light bulb left on for a day.
Both single and dual USB models of the wall charger are available, meaning that it should work with virtually any mobile device, and can be used abroad.
In July this year, AT&T was named as the most sustainable US telecoms firm in a study by Verdantix. Sprint and Verizon were also named as communications firms with a strong sustainability offering but the study found that none of the three has yet made sustainability central to its business strategy and product marketing in the way that European telecoms firms have started to do. This may be because the companies do not think US telecoms buyers are as sustainability-aware as their European counterparts, Verdantix said.
Later that month, AT&T launched an eco-ratings system in stores, allowing customers to compare cell phones’ environmental impacts. The rating system – which was developed in collaboration with sustainable business strategists BSR– rates mobile devices on 15 specific criteria in five categories: hazardous substances, environmentally preferable materials, product energy efficiency, end of life take-back and environmentally responsible manufacturing. Customers browsing in AT&T stores now see simple labels conveying the cell phones’ scores.
The communications company reduced the energy intensity of data carried on its network by 17 percent from 2010 to 2011, according to its 2011 sustainability report. In 2011, AT&T used 344 kWh of energy for every terabyte of data transferred on its network, down from 415 kWh per terabyte in 2010 and 654 in 2008. Since 2008, AT&T has recorded annual reductions in this metric of at least 17 percent every year.
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