A variety of companies are using Earth Day hype to unveil and highlight a diverse range of green initiatives. From handset recycling programs to renewed pledges for future sustainability, green is all the rage.
Here’s a sampling of what some in the wireless industry are doing this week to help the planet as well as their own images.
Alcatel-Lucent this week launched “Let’s Be Eco-Friendly,” an eco-awareness campaign that will encourage Alcatel-Lucent employees to avoid printing documents, separate trash for recycling, save water, turn down thermostats, use teleconferencing to avoid travel and reduce commuting by car whenever possible.
Alcatel also launched a cell phone recycling program beginning with the United States, Canada and France. Funds generated by recycling the phones will be donated to Girls, Inc. (www.girlsinc.com), a non-profit dedicated to the empowerment of girls, and Earthshare (www.earthshare.org), which helps raise funds for a variety of environmental charities.
CTIA announced its commitment to support a common format for wireless phone chargers, known as the Universal Charging Solution (UCS). Developed by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform industry standards group and recently adopted by the GSMA, the UCS aims to reduce energy consumption and enhance the customer experience through the adoption of a single “one-charger-fits-all” solution for new wireless devices by January 1, 2012.
Sprint earlier this week announced that an audit of IT operations, to manage data center growth and eliminate IT redundancies, resulted in significant economic and environmental gains. The audit resulted in a reduction of about $20 million worth of operating costs and reduced the company’s overall IT carbon footprint by about 10,450 metric tons.
Prepaid unlimited wireless service provider Cricket today began a nationwide handset recycling program. Customers can drop off their unused phones at participating Cricket stores or print a postage-paid shipping label from Cricket’s Web site and send their phones to the recycling center.
Boingo Wireless, provider of Wi-Fi hot spots, celebrated Earth Day by donating 10 percent of the purchase of Boingo Unlimited accounts at its owned-and-operated U.S. airport locations to Earth Day Network.
Money that Boingo raises through the sale of new Boingo Unlimited accounts from April 14-23 will be donated to Earth Day Network, “a non-profit organization devoted to broadening, diversifying and mobilizing the environmental movement worldwide, in order to promote a healthy, sustainable environment.”
Verizon Wireless emphasized its HopeLine phone recycling program in a number of states, asking customers to turn in used cell phones which are then refurbished and given to victims of domestic abuse.
AT&T and Cell Phones For Soldiers (CPFS) on Monday said their program has recycled more than 2.5 million wireless devices since Earth Day 2008, beating their Earth Day 2009 goal by more than 700,000 phones. CPFS recycles used cell phones and uses the proceeds to buy free phone cards for U.S. troops overseas.