Better Solutions, One Phone Case at a Time: Sprint Supports New Technology That Turns Greenhouse Gas into Plastic
AirCarbon™ material uses carbon that would otherwise become part of the air to create plastics that have wide applications, including in the mobile industry
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), May 13, 2014 - Today Sprint [NYSE: S] announced it will be one of the first companies to use AirCarbon™, a new carbon-negative material made from greenhouse gas, instead of petroleum, to create plastic products. The material will be used in black and pink cell phone cases for the iPhone® 5 and iPhone® 5s that will be sold online exclusively on Sprint.com by late May for $29.99, plus tax. Sprint is the first telecommunications company in the world to launch a carbon-negative product using AirCarbon™.
The material, AirCarbon™, is manufactured by California-based Newlight Technologies. The company uses a proprietary carbon capture process to convert air and greenhouse gases (GHGs) into a plastic that has similar durability and performance characteristics to petroleum-based plastics. The conversion technology can synthesize high-performance thermoplastics from a wide range of sources, including methane and/or carbon dioxide from agricultural operations, water treatment plants, landfills, anaerobic digesters, or energy facilities. The material has wide applications, as it can then be formed and molded into almost any given design.
“We are pleased to introduce this new technology – essentially turning greenhouse gas into a plastic that has the potential to replace petroleum-based plastics,” said David Owens, Sprint’s senior vice president of Product. “This innovation is another example of Sprint’s leadership in providing eco-friendly products to our customers.”
AirCarbon™ is an independently verified, cradle-to-grave (including all energy inputs, transportation, and end-of-life) carbon-negative material, quantifiably reducing the amount of carbon in the air in every ounce of AirCarbon™ produced. In fact, the weight of the new cell phone case is the same weight in carbon (as carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas) that has been sequestered and would otherwise be part of the air by making the case, generating a net positive environmental impact.
“AirCarbon™ offers a new paradigm in which products we use every day, like cellphone cases, become part of the environmental solution,” said Mark Herrema, Newlight Technologies co-founder and CEO. “Newlight’s mission is to replace petroleum-based plastics with greenhouse gas-based plastics on a commodity scale by out-competing on price and performance – harnessing the power of our choices as consumers to make change. We’re thankful for companies like Sprint, which are helping us realize our founding vision of taking greenhouse gases and turning them into commercially useful products that generate both an environmental and economic benefit.”
Sprint, a recognized global leader in corporate responsibility and sustainability, has a reputation for bringing sustainable options to market, including being named the most “Eco Focused” wireless carrier by Compass Intelligence. The company sees AirCarbon™ as another way it can play a key role in accelerating a more sustainable economy by leveraging its role as a large purchaser and supplier in the communications industry. The company also believes it is able to influence adoption among consumers of more sustainable products like the AirCarbon™ case, which have the potential to disrupt products or processes that have negative environmental or social impacts.
Sprint (NYSE: S) offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint served nearly 55 million customers as of March 31, 2014, and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index rated Sprint as the most improved company in customer satisfaction, across all 47 industries, during the last five years. Sprint has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America in 2011, 2012 and 2013. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About Sprint Good Works
Sprint is committed to using our technology, human and financial resources to help make the world a better place. This commitment infuses our business and culture, and drives our corporate responsibility program, Sprint Good WorksSM. More than just a name, Good Works is also a belief: Good does indeed workSM. The good works we perform every day benefit three key subjects: people, product and planet. For people, we demonstrate good works through targeted philanthropic initiatives and a diverse and ethical workforce. For a better product, we harness the power of innovation to help customers minimize their environmental footprint and increase their safety and security, and to empower seniors and those with disabilities to stay connected through accessible technology. For a healthier planet, we lead the industry with our sustainable business practices and wireless reuse and recycling programs. These are just a few of the ways we demonstrate good works to bring people and resources together for a better world. You can learn more about our Good Works at www.sprint.com/goodworks.
Founded in 2003, Newlight Technologies, LLC has invented, patented and commercialized AirCarbon™, a material made from air and captured carbon that can match the performance of petroleum-based plastics while out-competing on price, representing a market-driven solution to carbon capture. AirCarbon is currently being used to manufacture furniture, bags, caps, and a variety of other products, with partners including Fortune 500 companies and brand-name market leaders.
In recognition of the company's technological and commercialization achievements, Newlight was named "Most Innovative Company of the Year" in 2013, and AirCarbon was named "Biomaterial of the Year" and "Tech Innovation of the Year" in 2013. Newlight also received an R&D 100 Award for AirCarbon in 2013 as "one of the 100 most technologically significant innovations of the year." For more information, please visit www.newlight.com or www.twitter.com/aircarbon.