Greener BeeGreen ElectronicsSprint Brings Industry Leadership To Electronics Challenge


Today Sprint
[NYSE:S], named No. 3 on Newsweek’s 2011 Green Rankings, joined
the EPA and other electronics leaders at a third-party certified
recycling center in Romeoville, Ill., for the signing of the Sustainable
Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge.

This new national program is designed to advance the responsible
management of used electronics by challenging manufacturers and
retailers of electronics to voluntarily commit to sending 100 percent of
used electronics collected for reuse and recycling to third-party
certified recyclers, increase the total amount of used electronics
collected for reuse and recycling, and publically post information and
data regarding electronics recovery and disposal.

“Already, the United States generates almost 2.5 million tons of
electronic waste per year – and that number will only grow. Used
electronics have materials in them that can be recovered and recycled,
reducing the economic costs and environmental impacts of securing and
processing new materials for new products,” said EPA Administrator Lisa.
P. Jackson. “The SMM Electronics Challenge will help us ensure that we
are doing all we can to repurpose or safely dispose of the cell phones,
computers and other devices we use every day – all while helping to
build a robust market for electronics recycling in the United States.”

Sprint is the first and only wireless carrier to participate in the
program. It is not the first time Sprint has secured this distinction
for electronics management leadership, having participated with the EPA
in 2011 to launch the National
Strategy for Electronics Stewardship

E-waste is the largest growing waste stream in the country, generating
2.5 million tons of e-waste annually. The EPA estimates 135 million cell
phones – 17,200 tons – are discarded nationwide each year. Many wind up
in junk drawers and landfills. Today it is estimated that only 10
percent are collected for reuse or recycling. As a company dependent on
electronics, Sprint has led the industry in e-waste management best
practices having kept more than 40 million mobile devices out of
landfills. Sprint was also the first major U.S. wireless provider to
“buy back” mobile devices from any carrier and to offer customers an
instant credit in-store to return their old phones.

Through the Sprint
Buyback Program
, Sprint has awarded customers more than $50 million
in trade-in credit for returning their used devices to the carrier just
this year. This is a significant benefit to customers as the cost of
mobile devices continues to climb and a benefit to wireless providers
like Sprint looking for ways to reduce the effects of e-waste and drive
cost efficiencies. Since 2010, recycling and reuse programs have avoided
approximately $1 billion in cost to Sprint. Sprint’s Buyback Program was
also recently named the best buyback program in the wireless industry by
Compass Intelligence1.

“We’ve seen tremendous benefit from partnering with the EPA to advance
environmental responsibility and the safe management of electronic,”
said Ralph Reid, Sprint vice president-Corporate Responsibility. “With 1
billion wireless phones being produced in our industry every year we
have a responsibility to ensure we are mitigating environmental impact.
This voluntary, collaborative approach with the EPA, which recognizes
corporations for leadership, innovation, and education and outreach,
represents an ideal model for driving positive change.”

Sprint is the only U.S. wireless carrier to outline specific commitments
that address e-waste holistically by focusing on the full lifecycle of
the electronics it buys and sells. Through its Electronics
Stewardship Policy
, Sprint developed the following commitments with
input from BSR, Basel Action Network and ABI Research:

  • Design and procure more eco-friendly electronics.
  • Strive to maximize the equipment’s useful life, boost collection of
    equipment, and maximize reuse of electronics.
  • Responsibly recycle electronic scrap, and use environmentally and
    socially responsible vendors for recycling.

Sprint will share the insights it has gained while implementing this
policy at the Green
Gov Symposium
in Washington, D.C., next Wednesday, Sept. 26. Sprint
will be moderating a roundtable discussion on electronics stewardship
with the EPA, U.S. Government Services Administration (GSA) and Dell.
“Together we’ll share best practices and lessons learned regarding the
procurement of greener electronics and the use of third-party certified
solutions for reuse and recycling to help accelerate adoption of these
principles within federal government operations,” said Darren Beck,
Sprint manager–Corporate Responsibility. “We look forward to further
collaboration with the EPA as we continue educating others on this
important topic.”

Sprint’s leadership in environmental sustainability continues to receive
recognition. For the third year in a row, Sprint ranked highest among
all U.S. telecom companies on Newsweek’s 2011 Rankings of
America’s Greenest Companies at No. 3, up from No. 6 in 2010 and No. 15
in 2009. Sprint was also named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index
North America.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline
communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers,
businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 56
million customers at the end of the second quarter of 2012 and is widely
recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative
technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national
carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data
services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost
Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international
push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American
Customer Satisfaction Index
rated Sprint No. 1 among all national
carriers and most improved in customer satisfaction across all
industries during the last four years. Newsweek ranked Sprint No.
3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest
companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn
more and visit Sprint at

1. Compass Intelligence July 2012 rankings based on program
capabilities, user feedback, and expert analysis. Sprint had the highest
composite score.

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