Sprint Announces Electronics Stewardship Policy, First in the Industry

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) announced its Electronics Stewardship Policy yesterday, the first in the telecommunications industry.

The policy outlines Sprint’s goals in how it will handle its products, from product design to end of life. It’s the first wireless carrier to address address the product cycle  holistically by focusing on the full lifecycle of the electronics it buys and sells.

The Electronics Stewardship Policy commits Sprint to design and purchase green electronics, maximize the equipment’s useful life, boost equipment recovery from users, maximize reuse of electronics, responsibly recycle electronic scrap, and use environmentally and socially responsible vendors for recycling.

Sprint developed the policy with input from Business for Social Responsiblity (BSR), Basel Action Network and ABI Research.

The company made the announcement during an awards ceremony at the International Electronics Recycling Conference and Expo in Las Vegas, where Sprint received the Sustainability Leadership Award.

The panel of judges said they gave the award to Sprint because of its full lifecycle approach to product sustainability.

"Sprint’s wide-ranging sustainability initiatives and efforts set the company apart from other wireless carriers and is why it deserves to receive this award for the second consecutive year," said Ismail Oyekan, publisher, Electronic Waste Journal, and program director for the conference. "Sprint truly leads by example, and it is our hope that other wireless carriers will emulate their practices and policies."

Electronics Stewardship Policy goals:

  • At least 70% of Sprint-branded devices should meet the company’s scorecard criteria for environmental design by 2017.
  • 100% of Sprint’s recycling vendors and remanufacturing partners must meet certification requirements by 2012 and 2013, respectively.
  • Sprint intends to collect nine phones for reuse or recycling for every 10 it sells annually by 2017, a 90% collection rate.
  • Sprint intends to collect 100% of its own annual e-waste for reuse and recycling by 2017.

This week’s award is one of many for Sprint.

For the second consecutive year, Sprint ranked first among all U.S. telecom companies on Newsweek’s 2010 Rankings of America’s Greenest Companies. 

Frost & Sullivan honored Sprint with the 2010 Green Excellence of the Year Award in Mobile & Wireless. And the company was ranked in its industry on the Carbon Disclosure Project’s "Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index."

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