Rating of products according to their environmental footprints has not yet had much of a presence among North American brandowners and retailers but a new AT&T initiative for mobile phones and accessories may change that.
AT&T has just announced that products in AT&T stores will be linked to an eco-rating which shows the rating that the phone achieves on 15 environmental criteria grouped into five performance areas: hazardous substances; environmentally preferable materials; energy efficiency; end-of-life; and responsible manufacturing. The overall eco-score will be the total number of stars the product receives.
At this early stage the operational mechanics of rating system are not totally transparent but we think we get it. The stars are awarded based on data provided by the product manufacturer and verified by AT&T. It is not yet clear what happens in case of a dispute.
In GallonDaily’s opinion this move by AT&T is very much a move in the right direction. It may not be perfect but providing consumers with better environmental information about the products they are buying is something we very much encourage. Polls suggest that, all else being equal, many consumers will preferentially purchase the greener product. AT&T will be helping them to do that.
Details of the AT&T program can be found at http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=23130&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=34935&%20mapcode=mobile-devices|mk-att-sustainability