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AT&T Expands Eco-Ratings to Include Tablets and Social Factors in Rating Criteria

06 Jan 2015 | AT&T

Tagged: Planet, News,

Refreshed Eco-Ratings Empower Consumers to Better Understand Environmental and Social Impact of Devices

At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada AT&T1 today unveiled its next generation Eco-Rating 2.0, an updated rating system that provides consumers an easy way to understand environmental – and now social – factors associated with their devices. With expanded and more aggressive goals, the ratings also now apply to tablets.

Building on AT&T’s industry-leading original eco-ratings, Eco-Rating 2.0 is a simple way to help consumers evaluate the environmental and social profile of the devices they choose to purchase. The refreshed 2.0 rating system includes social and environmental factors related to device manufacturing, including manufacturer usage of environmentally preferred materials, minimization of substances of concern, energy efficiency and responsible end-of-life treatment. As with AT&T’s current eco-rating system, consumers will be able to find AT&T’s Eco-Rating 2.0 scores on the web, and on packaging for devices.

As a result of AT&T’s concurrent work with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other industry organizations around the globe, the Eco-Rating 2.0 criteria align with existing global standards, including UL.

AT&T-branded handsets such as feature phones, smartphones and tablets that enter its pipeline in 2015 will receive a one to five star eco-rating based on Eco-Rating 2.0 criteria. Devices rated under these new criteria are expected to enter the marketplace in the first half of 2015.

“Our new eco-rating system empowers consumers to make better informed purchasing decisions in consideration of sustainability factors with ease,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Device Marketing and Developer Services – AT&T Mobility. “AT&T’s revamped criteria, including social factors associated with device manufacturing, is designed to encourage device manufacturers to take their sustainability commitments to the next level.”

AT&T’s original eco-rating criteria and attributes have been re-assessed and updated to address the quickly shifting sustainability landscape. For example, the already-existing attribute of “responsible manufacturing” now takes into account new social components, including conflict minerals usage, implementation of a human rights policy, and public reporting on occupational safety management systems and factory code of conduct.

The system was developed by AT&T in collaboration with BSR (Business for Social Responsibility), a global nonprofit business network and consultancy dedicated to sustainability, and with consultation from industry experts and stakeholders. Eco-ratings have helped consumers understand the environmental profile of AT&T-branded devices since the labels first appeared in 2012. By October 2014, over 70 percent of AT&T’s eco-rated devices earned a rating of 4 or higher.

“AT&T’s updated rating system provides a more holistic view of the sustainability impacts of technology devices,” said Eric Olson, BSR’s Senior Vice President, Advisory Services. “These efforts are setting a high – and important – bar for technology companies and encouraging them to play a transformative role in improving the industry’s manufacturing-related environmental and social impacts.”

As a result of AT&T’s concurrent work with International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and other industry organizations around the globe, the Eco-Rating 2.0 criteria align with existing global standards, including UL.

Further explanation of the refreshed eco-ratings and information about the application of ratings to individual devices can be found by visiting AT&T’s one stop shop consumer-focused sustainability site, EcoSpace.

AT&T is committed to integrating environmentally and socially sustainable business practices across its business. Visit www.att.com/csr to learn more about sustainability at AT&T.

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