Friday, November 16, 2012

Sprint's Industry Leading Cell Phone Recycling

Since 2001, Sprint's takeback program has collected more than 4,000 metric tons of electronic waste which comprises more than 40 million wireless devices. These programs not only keep phones out of landfills they have helped the company avoid more than $1 billion in costs. In 2011 Sprint recycled more than 11 million wireless devices, over 211,000 on average per week. Sprint is the first and only US wireless carrier to outline specific commitments that address electronic waste (e-waste) holistically. Sprint is ranked No. 3 on Newsweek’s Green Rankings of American companies and it is the only wireless carrier to crack the top 25 for Newsweek's Green Rankings of global companies.

Sprint celebrated America Recycles Day by raising awareness of the importance of recycling. Sprint has launched a phone recycling pledge where customers can win one of five rewards cards worth $500 (now through Nov. 30). Sprint has also posted a video online that illustrates how old cell phones can gain a “second life” while reducing the amount of electronic waste in the marketplace.

Sprint has been serious about managing electronic waste since 2001. Sprint developed a phone trade-in program and was the first US wireless carrier to provide an instant credit at point of sale, as well as allow customers to bring back any phone from any carrier, now known as the Sprint Buyback program.

Around 40 percent of customers that visit a Sprint retail store participate in the Buyback program. This program benefits the environment, the company and consumers. This has resulted in more than $75 million going back to consumers.

“Making our business more sustainable is really part of our DNA at Sprint,” said Fared Adib, senior vice president of product development and reverse logistics. “You can’t be in our industry, put the amount of product into the market that we do, and not think through the full lifecycle. We’re proud that we’ve been recognized as having the industry’s leading buyback program despite our No. 3 position in the market – and we believe these efforts will contribute to Sprint’s long-term success.”

The fact that Sprint also accepts competitor devices led to Compass Intelligence recognizing the company as having the best trade-in program in the industry for two years in a row.

In September, Sprint was recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its leadership as the only wireless carrier to join the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge. As a participant, Sprint will strive to send 100 percent of the electronics it collects to third-party certified refurbishers and recyclers and to increase the amount of used electronics collected.

Sprint's Electronics Stewardship Policy, developed with guidance from BSR, Basel Action Network and ABI Research, focuses on the full lifecycle of the electronics it buys and sells. It publicly states Sprint will strive to design and buy greener electronics, extend the useful life of equipment, boost the collection of used equipment, maximize the reuse of electronics, and responsibly recycle the rest through third-party certified vendors.

Sprint's environmental business practices and policies make it a recycling leader and a model for the industry. Their efforts reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help manage natural resources.

For more detailed information on Sprint's sustainability efforts click here.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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