AT&T Launches In-Store Eco-Rating System

AT&T recently announced the debut of its new phone eco-rating system. Now, shoppers looking for mobile phones in AT&T’s stores will be able to see and understand the environmental impact of potential devices at a glance. The company says it decided to launch the in-store rating system after a June 2012 survey revealed that, all things being equal, 60 percent respondents would consider the environmental impact of a device before making a purchase.

The eco-rating system assesses 15 specific criteria across five general categories of sustainability, including usage of environmentally preferable materials, minimization of hazardous substances, energy efficiency, responsible end-of-life treatment and environmentally-responsible manufacturing. Phone makers are permitted to self-evaluate their phones along these criteria, but AT&T says that it reviews and confirms the data before giving a rating of between one and give stars.

AT&T Eco Score Example

Image via AT&T

“AT&T’s eco-ratings give consumers product information they want,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, 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.”

To accompany the in-store eco-rating system, AT&T also launched a new series of web pages called “Ecospace.” The portal offers customers easy access to more information about AT&T’s sustainability initiatives, and makes it easy to shop for all of AT&T’s eco-products, find eco-rating information for assessed devices, sign up for paperless billing, and recycling information. Further explanation of the eco-rating system and information about the application of ratings to individual devices can be found by scanning an on-label QR code.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog