While the idea of sustainable cell phones sounds like something of an oxymoron, communications giant Sprint is at least making moves in the right direction. As of January 1st, the company is requiring that all devices go through the UL Environment certification process before hitting store shelves, the first mobile carrier to do so.
Sprint first partnered up with UL Environment last year to produce the Samsung Replenish, the first phone to receive environmental certification.
“We applaud Sprint for helping to lead the wireless phone industry down a path of increased environmental responsibility and sustainability,” said Stephen Wenc, president of UL Environment, in a press release. “Sprint’s decision to set a goal of having UL Environment certification for all of its mobile phones highlights their commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship.”
The updated standards also extend to device packaging, with new requirements to eliminate plastic laminates and to increase the use of vegetable-based inks and eco-friendly adhesives. We especially like the part about improved reparability in new phone designs, such as replaceable screens.
“We believe adopting third-party certification, and elevating the sustainable criteria around our packaging and reparability, enables us to continue to push the envelope on sustainable product design and to drive more eco-friendly product options to our customers,” explained David Owens, Sprint’s vice president of product development. We couldn’t agree more.