The importance of eco-ratings to consumers is a lesson that Apple recently learned, after getting heat for dropping out of the US federal EPEAT registry, and quickly recommiting to submitting its devices for EPEAT ratings. Now AT&T will is making its eco-ratings on branded postpaid mobile devices available in-store.
AT&T's Eco Rating scale (which was announced in February) measures mobile products according to criteria including hazardous substances, environmentally preferable materials, energy efficiency, end of life take back and environmentally responsible manufacturing.
"AT&T's eco-ratings give consumers product information they want," said Jeff Bradley, SVP, Devices, AT&T Mobility. "Consumers want the best and fastest devices while being able to make an empowered choice about environmental impacts of the device. Our eco-ratings accomplish just that."
An AT&T survey in June revealed that for 60% of respondents, the environmental impact of a device is a factor in purchase.
Device manufacturers submit a self-assessment on 15 criteria their device meets, reviewed and confirmed by AT&T, then calculated into AT&T's five-star system, in which five stars is the highest. Criteria include, percentage of post-consumer plastic used in the device, restriction of compounds such as lead, cadmium, mercury, nickel and antimony trioxide/antimony compounds and product energy efficient features.
Further eco-rating system information is available by scanning an on-label QR code at AT&T store or on EcoSpace, AT&T's sustainability microsite.
AT&T has increased its commitment to sustainability in the past year with paperless billing options, accessory packaging with a new plastic comprised of up to 30% plant-based materials and a device trade-in recycling program. The company was recently added to Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 12th Annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" List.