Empowering the Sustainability Choice: One Device at a Time
By: Gary Duffy, Director – Product Marketing Management
To understand my sustainability story, all you have to do is walk into an AT&T store.
My work is at the front lines of AT&T's sustainability commitment, trying to connect with consumers like you about the work that we do and the ways that you can be more sustainable too. My goal is that when you leave an AT&T store not only do you have a new product in hand, but you also have a deeper understanding of our commitment to sustainability.
This commitment manifests itself throughout the lifecycle of a customer's experience with AT&T. At the point of sale, customers can use our new eco-rating system, a simple and easy-to-understand rating of the sustainability attributes of all AT&T-branded post-paid handset devices. Through this system, customers around the country can walk into an AT&T store and get a true sense of the sustainable attributes of their devices from energy efficiency to end-of-life take-back. We designed this system as a way to truly engage our customers about the impact their device has on the world around them, and we are moved at the reception we've received. So moved that we plan on expanding this program later this year.
Once a customer picks a device, it's time to outfit that device with accessories. Before an AT&T accessory is sent to our store, it's wrapped in PlantPak, a packaging made from up to 30 percent plant-based material that helps avoid the petroleum impacts of pure plastic. At the end of a device's life, customers have the option of either trading in an old device and receiving credit for the value of the device or donating the proceeds to the non-profit Cell Phones for Soldiers.
Our sustainability engagement doesn't end when a customer walks out of a store. Many customers opt for paperless billing – 18.7 million of them – and the number grows each year. Last year we also launched EcoSpace, a site through which we can engage with consumers about all of our sustainability principles.
Each of these sustainability programs were made possible because of the passion of AT&T employees and our customers. For example, it was through my colleague Michael Cowan's "a ha" moment one afternoon while enjoying a bottle of soda that PlantPack was born. Beyond my colleagues and team, our customers make these sustainability programs impactful. Most recently they successfully broke the world record for the number of cell phones collected in a one-week period – a record certified by Guinness World Records – and an amazing accomplishment!
We're proud of what we've accomplished thus far and so excited about what we can accomplish in the future. I know that with our customers and employees working together, the possibilities are endless.