Refreshing and Raising the Bar

Refreshing and Raising the Bar

Friday, May 2, 2014 - 9:05am

CAMPAIGN: AT&T: Possibilities


By Roman Smith, Director, Sustainability Operations

As a sun-loving Texan, my semiannual trips to the Pacific Northwest often make me feel like I should bring my own UV machine. So you can only imagine my delight when I landed in Seattle last Monday and found the sun there, waiting for me.  

I felt it was a good sign of what was to come.

Twice a year, my sustainability team has the privilege to support AT&T’s Device team in Redmond by meeting with each of our device manufacturers one-on-one to discuss the environmental impact of their latest products. It’s a two-way conversation where we update the device makers on the latest information on the AT&T Eco-Rating system, consumer and supply chain trends and domestic/international environmental regulations.

After nearly two years since we launched the AT&T Eco-Rating system for AT&T-branded handsets, and with our overall portfolio of devices nearing 4 Eco-Rating stars, it is now time to raise the bar on the scoring system. With that, we hope to generate the next level of innovative, sustainable design.

Throughout the process of refreshing the Eco-Rating, I’ve loved hearing the positive accolades from our manufacturers on our process of engagement. AT&T has always been clear that our intent is to not introduce a regulatory-like scheme for sustainable design, but one that drives industry innovation. Gathering feedback on our Eco-Ratings system as well as generating “buy-in” is critical to the success of our program. Such an approach incents innovation with not only product design, but also ideas on engaging with our consumer on these important issues.

Over the next few weeks, we will work closely with our manufacturers to conduct pilots and review all the details of our proposed system. 

Our target is to launch our new system for all AT&T branded handset devices, including tablets, by this summer – when I may be looking for some of those Pacific Northwest clouds to hide from the blistering Texas sun.