Sprint’s trademark color is yellow, but perhaps green would be more appropriate. Especially in light of our top 20 ranking in the first Newsweek magazine “Green Ranking” of America’s 500 largest corporations.
We proudly came in at Number 15 on the list (our news announcement is here), finishing substantially better than any other telecom company, and in the top 10 among technology companies. It was the magazine’s first attempt at determining which companies are doing the best job of environmental stewardship while balancing the need to maintain profitability and keep their shareholders happy.
Many factors went into Newsweek’s determination that Sprint deserved to be among the “green” elite when it comes to environmental sustainability, including our absolute greenhouse gas reduction goal (15 percent by 2017), our green supply chain efforts, and our industry-leading phone recycling program.
The same day we learned about the Newsweek results we learned we had received the highest rating among U.S. wireless providers from The Carbon Disclosure Project on its 2009 Global 500 report. Sprint is the only U.S. wireless provider to have a public absolute greenhouse gas reduction goal and was able to reduce its emissions 6.8 percent in its first year of reporting.
We believe this recognition came as a result of the foundation we’ve set for environmental responsibility at Sprint. We established a set of environmental priorities and goals, announced them publicly, and have been making clear progress on each. Our focus areas include reducing our impact on climate change, reducing operational waste, promoting a socially and environmentally sound supply chain, and reducing the environmental impact of our products and services.
Perhaps our most exciting work this year has been our progress on the environmentally responsible products and services front. Making headway on this goal means that we’re enabling our customers to be more environmentally responsible with their communications choices. In August we launched a new phone, the Samsung Reclaim, which is the most technologically advanced eco-friendly device in the U.S. In September we announced a new dedicated green section in our retail stores featuring the Reclaim as well as a line of eco-friendly accessories, including a solar-powered charger.
The eco-device and accessory launches supplement our existing portfolio of services and applications that can help our business customers with their own sustainability challenges – and increased productivity and reduce costs. For example, our own internal implementation of Unified Communications has enabled 4,000 employees to efficiently work outside the traditional office, allowing elimination of more than a million square feet of office space. We’re talking big savings on power and other facility costs, not to mention saving millions of commuting miles driven by employees each year. We fully expect our customers to achieve similarly impressive results. We also offer wireless solutions to cut down on fuel use, reduce paper, increase automation, allow workers to be more mobile, save energy and more.
Over the next few months we plan to offer a series of blog posts about the sustainability challenges businesses are currently facing. We want to hear about your sustainability concerns, challenges, successes, and whatever input you might have for Sprint’s efforts. Stay tuned!