OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--For the fourth straight year, Newsweek’s annual Green Rankings has recognized Sprint Nextel [NYSE:S] as one of the greenest companies in the United States, ranking the company third among the 500 largest publicly traded corporations. Sprint also ranked #3 in 2011, up from #15 in 2009 and #6 in 2010.
Sprint’s inclusion on the list is based on the carrier’s 2011 performance in such areas as greenhouse gas emissions, waste reduction and management of natural resources. Today’s Newsweek announcement also coincides with the release of Sprint’s annual Corporate Responsibility Performance Summary, which provides greater detail on how the company, the only wireless carrier to crack the top 25, continues to advance its environmental business practices and policies.
“It’s a significant accomplishment for the employees of Sprint that Newsweek has once again recognized our sustainability efforts. Our commitment to ‘doing the right thing’ is an integral part of our long-term plan to reduce costs, drive revenue and increase customer loyalty,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Last year we continued our sustainability journey by improving performance against our environmental goals and establishing an external stakeholder advisory panel.”
Newsweek’s Green Rankings thoroughly evaluate the environmental performance of the largest publicly traded companies in the United States and those worldwide, and are based on a number of criteria, including environmental impact, environmental management, and environmental disclosure collected by leading environmental research providers Trucost and Sustainalytics. Sprint’s performance in these areas – in addition to others – are also illustrated in the company’s Corporate Responsibility Performance Summary. Notable achievements from the 2011 Performance Summary include:
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Sprint has the most aggressive greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-reduction goals of any U.S. wireless carrier and was the first to publicly announce an absolute emission reduction goal. To date, the company is halfway to its goal of a 20 percent absolute emission reduction by 2017. In 2011, Sprint achieved an absolute emissions reduction of 3.25 percent year-over-year with a 31 percent year-over-year reduction in emissions intensity – milestones reached through the introduction of more-efficient network equipment as part of Network Vision, an increase in renewable energy purchases, energy efficiency improvements at its data centers, and a shift to more fuel-efficient SmartWay certified fleet vehicles.
Sprint’s GHG reduction successes and reporting transparency have been recognized by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the Carbon Disclosure Project and are especially notable because they occurred during a period of significant data traffic growth and the build-out of Sprint’s new high-performing LTE network.
Electronic Waste Reduction
Sprint was the first and continues to be the only U.S. wireless carrier to outline specific commitments that address electronic waste (e-waste) holistically by focusing on the full lifecycle of the electronics it buys and sells. Its Electronics Stewardship Policy, developed with guidance from BSR, Basel Action Network and ABI Research, publicly states Sprint’s pledge to responsibly recycle electronic scrap while striving to boost equipment recycling and reuse. To date, the carrier’s groundbreaking phone trade-in program, Sprint Buyback, and other wireless device recycling programs, have collected more than 40 million devices (over 5 million this year alone), while putting more than $75 million back in customers’ pockets. Sprint’s device take back programs have also supported bottom line objectives, helping the company avoid more than $1 billion in cost through reuse and recycling.
The carrier’s relationship with Underwriters Laboratory Environment (ULE) led to the creation of the first environmental standard for wireless mobile phones: ULE 110, which was launched in early 2011. The ULE 110 standard sets product guidelines in manufacturing and operations, performance, energy management, sustainable innovation and packaging. In May 2011, Sprint launched Samsung Replenish, which was the first wireless device in the United States to receive ULE 110 certification. Sprint has since launched seven more Platinum-certified devices and continues to lead the industry by offering more devices with eco-friendly features than any other wireless carrier in the United States.
At the beginning of 2012, Sprint announced that all devices it sells must go through ULE 110 assessment. The carrier’s newly updated environmental vendor scorecard also places new emphasis on devices that are easily repairable and meet more aggressive packaging requirements – changes that will help reduce Sprint’s environmental impact and also reduce repair and shipping costs. Today, Sprint has achieved ULE 110 certification for more than 80 percent of the carrier’s current device lineup.
Sprint’s commitment to sustainability as a core part of its business strategy continues to receive recognition. Earlier this year, the carrier was named No. 4 – and the only wireless provider – on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Top 20 Technology & Telecom list of green power users within the sector. This summer, Sprint was recognized by independent analyst firm Verdantix as the top U.S. wireless provider for corporate sustainability performance. For the last two years, Sprint Buyback has been named the best buyback program in the industry by Compass Intelligence based on an overall score among national carriers.
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 2012 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 www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.