- Of the top 4 carriers, there are about 168 phones (no other devices are included) in the line-ups (online only), which includes basic and smart phones.
- Of those, roughly 36 phones (or 21%) are labeled or rated eco friendly.
- Also, I tallied how many were labeled "pre-owned" or "refurbished" and came up with another 37 phones (or 22%). (From our perspective, a refurbished phone is eco-friendly in that they are being reused.)
Here are some other observations:
- Sprint defines an eco phone as a "a green machine: Platinum certified, this phone meets the highest level of environmental performance established by UL Environment."
- Verizon provides "ECO specs" to devices that meet certain ecological requirements. It explains: "Our ECO Specs label will initially be available on a selection of cell phones. All cell phones, tablets, and accessories will have an ECO Specs label at a later date."
- AT&T also has its own "Eco ratings" where it provides specific information on many of the devices it sells. Note: AT&T provided 3 star ratings for numerous phones that no one else deemed eco friendly; therefore, only the phones that received 4 stars or more are included in this count. No iPhone are included in the ratings by AT&T since Apple declined to participate.
- It is interesting that these three carriers have what seems to be separate approaches for their ratings. While typical for the US wireless industry, this could become problematic for improvements in this area.
- Finally, T-Mobile makes no mention about eco phones therefore we did not tally any for them. The company does sell refurbished phones, however.
There is much more to uncover in this area including whether carriers offer more eco-friendly phones in their stores and deeper insight into consumer buying behavior in this area. Also, we will explore (compare/contrast) the top three carriers ratings programs to uncover how some phones can be rated green by one standard and not another.
For questions, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org