Environmental Leader 4 September 2013
Sprint has broken the world record for the number of cellular phones recycled in one week — 103,582 cell phones, more than double the previous record — as certified by Guinness World Records.
The audited count took place the week of Earth Day and did not feature any special promotions.
AT&T set the previous world record in November 2012 with its customers recycling 50,942 devices in a week.
Sprint says it was the first wireless carrier in the US to initiate a customer buyback program granting instant credit for eligible devices from any carrier in Sprint retail stores back in 2010. Today, more than four out of every 10 customers in Sprint retail stores participate in the buyback program, the company says. These recycling programs have helped create more than $1 billion in cost avoidance for the company.
In 2011 and 2012, Compass Intelligence ranked Sprint’s buyback program No. 1, beating out other major US carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and US Cellular in overall ranking.
Since 2001, Sprint reclaimed enough mobile devices to divert 12.5 million pounds of e-waste from landfills, the company says. As part of a network-wide updating and decommissioning project, Sprint projects to re-use and recycle an additional 100 million pounds of e-waste in 2013 and 2014 — part of an effort to reduce Sprint’s carbon footprint and electricity consumption.
As part of its Electronics Stewardship Policy, which highlights Sprint’s efforts to work with only certified recyclers to achieve its recycling goals, Sprint aims to collect an average of nine devices for every 10 devices sold by 2017.
The company also reduced by 55 percent the environmental impact of its branded device packaging from 2009 to 2012, against a 2008 baseline, according to a white paper published in May.
Sprint has carried out more green initiatives than any competing mobile operator in the United States, according to Frost & Sullivan, which awarded the company its 2012 North American Award for Green Excellence. Sprint ranked No. 4 in the environment category on CR Magazine’s Best Corporate Citizens 2013 list published earlier this year.
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