At the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week, AT&T unveiled Eco-Rating 2.0, an updated rating system that provides consumers an easy way to understand environmental — and now social — impacts associated with their devices. With expanded and more aggressive goals, the ratings also now apply to tablets.
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 the 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, SVP of 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 SVP of 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.