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Sprint Device Eco-logo and Criteria

Once Sprint completed the planning work on the green specifications and environmental portion of the vendor scorecard, it recognized that there was still a need for some sort of indicator by which a customer would know which devices are more environmentally responsible than the average wireless device. Because there were no standards in place, or a green mobile device criteria or logo available, Sprint decided to establish a set of criteria that indicates that Sprint considers the device to be environmentally preferable to an average wireless device. This involved extensive research and discussions with green electronics NGOs and corporate responsibility advisory services.

The criteria had to be relevant for consumers and environmentally meaningful. We also wanted to recognize that a device could be very strong in some areas yet weak in others, but still warrant consideration as an environmentally preferred device. We set higher point values for items we considered essential and lower point values for items that were less critical or where there was less clarity or progress within the industry. We also wanted to reward innovation so that if a vendor's device was the first to market with a significant environmental attribute, we could offer extra points. The result was the Sprint Eco-Criteria.

The Sprint Device Eco-logo

Sprint created and trademarked a logo to indicate that a device meets the Sprint eco-criteria. There are two versions of the logo, each with a different purpose. The image with “From Sprint” at the bottom is used exclusively on the packaging of qualifying Sprint devices and makes it clear to consumers that the logo is specifically associated with Sprint’s criteria, and not a 3rd party certification. The second version, with “Meets Sprint eco-criteria” is used for all other purposes describing this effort, for example in stores, or product briefs, or brochures describing our Eco-Criteria and qualifying devices.

The Criteria

The criteria we selected reflect both our environmental vision and our green specifications. We reviewed our proposed criteria with several of our vendors as well as not-for-profit organizations with specialized knowledge in “green” electronics to ensure we were on the right track. We established the following categories and point values:

  • Reduction of Environmentally Sensitive Materials – 30 points total
    • RoHS Compliance, low levels of PVC, BFRs, Phthalates, Beryllium
  • Energy Management – 20 points total
    • Energy Star qualification, visual alert for full charge, power saving information in user materials
  • Lifecycle Management – 25 points total
    • High recyclability rate, recycling envelop included in box, standardized connector, recycled plastic or renewably sourced plastic content
  • Sustainable Packaging – 20 points total
    • Fully recyclable, conforms to standard box sizes, includes post-consumer materials, reduced in-box materials, reduced chemical impact
  • Eco-friendly applications – 10 points total
  • Innovation – 10 points total (extra credit)

Within each category there are several line items, each with a maximum value. Sprint asks the vendor to provide verification of its performance against each line item before a device can be recognized with the marker. Devices scoring 70 points or higher qualify for the Sprint device Eco-Logo.

Underwriters Laboratory Environment Sustainability Standard for Mobile Phones

Sprint first met with Underwriters Laboratory Environment (ULE) in the summer of 2010 as it began exploring possible partners to provide third-party certification of the Sprint Eco-Logo. The relationship quickly evolved based on both organizations' desire to see a new global green standard following the ULE standards-development process. ULE contacted wireless carriers and mobile device manufacturers to determine their interest in a standard and willingness to join the initial development team. Sprint and five manufacturers agreed to participate and that fall ULE hosted and led a series of meetings between the participants to develop the Interim Standard Requirement for Mobile Phones, ULE ISR 110.

In June 2011, Sprint in partnership with Samsung Mobile, announced that the Samsung Replenish was the first phone to be awarded ULE ISR 110 Platinum certification, the strongest certification tier.

The interim standard is currently being reviewed by the Standards Technical Panel, a broad team that includes additional device manufacturers, wireless carriers, and other experienced stakeholders. Sprint is actively participating in the Standards Technical Panel as both a member and Task Group Leader as requirements and point allocations are finalized so that ISR 110 can become a standard. Until the official ANSI (American National Standards Institute) standard is released, phones will be certified against the ISR.

ULE ISR Content

The standard covers the phone, the packaging, and all accessories and filler materials packaged within the box. A copy of the criteria can be downloaded at: ULE ISR 110 Download Site.


Materials Use - 15 points
Focuses natural resources that are limited in overall supply and the use of alternatives resources within the production process and in the final construction of the product.

Energy Use - 24 points
Specifies requirements for a universal power supply connector and average power supply efficiency.

Health & Environment - 27 points
Encompasses reduced life cycle impacts and toxic chemicals / emissions for both the use of the product and the best practices around occupational safety of workers during manufacturing and end of life management of the device.

End of Life Management - 12 points
Focuses on product life extension through updates and refurbishment and through the product recycling through take- back programs.

Packaging - 13 points
Encompasses the use of packaging materials, box size, and filler content.

Manufacturing & Operations - 18 points
Applies to the manufacturers' corporate sustainability and environmental health and safety policies, plans, and actions.

Innovation - 10 points
Enables credit for innovative environmental efforts the manufacturer undertakes that exhibit exceptional performance above and beyond those required within this standard as well as activities that are not covered by the criteria within this

Total Available Points = 109 points

Certification Tiers:
Certified = > 60 points
Platinum = > 80 points

For a view of available points by criteria, click here.