Greenest Cell Phone Companies

green-cell-companiesBelow is a great guest post on ‘green cell phones’ by Dan Harding of CalFinder Home Solar Power. Enjoy! And we hope you find it useful!

By Dan Harding

Cell phones have essentially become an extension of the human body in most of the developed world. Although they are not the greenest products, with vampire chargers, excessive manufacturing, and recycling inadequacies, some companies are attempting to change that. Not surprisingly, many of the greenest cell phones come from some of the greenest cell phone companies in the marketplace. But in addition to phone manufacturers, cell phone carriers are also going green—two of them in a big way.

#1—AT&T. AT&T is the greenest cell phone operator in North America, according to a 2009 study by ABI Research. AT&T wins due to its focus on green innovation and research and development (see the famous Bell Labs). The company is open and detailed about its carbon emissions and reduction plans, and actively engaged in smart grid infrastructure. AT&T, says ABI, has the greenest mobile network on the continent.

#2—Sprint/Nextel. Following AT&T closely in ABI’s green rankings is Sprint. The company is a leader in implementation of green products—green handsets, handset recycling, green buildings and green information technology (IT). Sprint also drives greenness throughout its supply chain, says ABI, facilitating greener handsets (Sprint carries those green Samsung phones) and greener networks. Sprint has ambitious eco-friendly company goals, including improving its recycling rate to 90% (from about 35% today) by 2020.

#3—Nokia. While the ABI Research study focused on wireless carriers, a separate (annual) study by Greenpeace International ranks electronics manufacturers for their sustainability. Nokia tops that list. Nokia has phased out toxic chemicals from its phones. Its CEO has come out publicly in support of a 30% reduction in GHG emissions by industrialized countries before 2020. Nokia also scores well on energy, aiming for 50% renewables and company CO2 emissions reduction of 18% by the end of 2010.

#4—Sony Ericsson. Second to Nokia on the Greenpeace scale is Sony Ericsson. The company scores full marks on all chemicals criteria, with absolutely no toxic chemicals to be found in their phones any longer. The company is also lobbying the European Union for even stricter regulations on chlorinated and brominates. Sony Ericsson gets 40% of its energy from renewable resources as well.

#5—Motorola. Motorola has not yet but has a goal in place to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFR) from all of its mobile devices after 2010. As mentioned above, all Motorola’s phones are already PVC-free and with MOTO Renew the company is exploring recycled and recyclable phone production as well as certified carbon-neutrality for its products.

Dan Harding is a well-versed veteran of solar critique, commentary and reporting. CalFinder Home Solar Power is proud to tout Dan as their solar expert. He has published over 1,000 articles on a wide variety of solar industry topics, ranging from cutting-edge technology and gadgetry to political satire and powerful editorials.

Photo Credit: millicent_bystander via flickr under a Creative Commons license

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