Sprint “Wastes” Little Time – Lands Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Award for Recycling Efforts
Company honored for averting millions of pounds in waste from landfills
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), April 22, 2014 - Sprint [NYSE:S], named the most “Eco Focused” wireless carrier by Compass Intelligence earlier this year, and known for raising the bar across the wireless industry for its recycling practices, will receive today from the EPA the WasteWise National Partner of the Year Award for Very Large Companies at the Sprint headquarters campus in Overland Park.
Since 2010, Sprint has diverted more than 74,000 tons of solid waste from landfills. Last year, through the decommissioning of its nationwide iDEN network as part of Network Vision, Sprint averted more than 175 million pounds of electronic waste from landfills, saving the company more than $275 million.
“We continue to look for ways to achieve our waste-reduction goals and improve our waste-handling processes with help from the EPA and the WasteWise program,” said Gene Agee, Sprint vice president-Procurement and Real Estate. “We’re honored to receive this award for our continued commitment to reducing our environmental impact, but we remain focused on developing new programs that further our waste-management efforts.”
Sprint has made significant strides in protecting the environment through recycling and waste reduction, environmentally preferable purchasing, education and community involvement. Being a member of the EPA’s SMM Electronics Challenge, a program that promotes corporations voluntarily committing to sending 100 percent of used electronics to third-party certified recyclers, has helped define the company as a lifecycle management leader in electronics. The re-use and recycling efforts behind the Network Vision project was possibly the single largest e-waste effort in the world.
In accordance with the zero-landfill goal in its industry-leading Electronics Stewardship Policy, Sprint recycled all of the network equipment shed during the project: switching equipment, radios, antennas, coax cables, lead-acid batteries and more. The initiative averted more than 175 million pounds of e-waste and other materials from landfills (more than 380 times heavier than the Statue of Liberty), including 15 million pounds of lead-acid batteries. Sprint’s priority for the e-waste was re-use, which provided significant financial benefits: cost savings for Sprint totaling $275 million.
Sprint’s real estate operations have also averted millions of pounds of waste. Beyond the 74,000 tons of solid waste, Sprint headquarters’ compost efforts diverted more than 54 tons of food waste from landfills during the past two years. The addition of two cafeteria food pulpers, and food waste collection in break rooms, also increased collection to 91 tons. The launch of Sprint’s national waste and recycle program in 2012 increased mixed recycling by nearly 140 percent. Expansion of the program in 2013, to a total of 555 sites across the country, drove an additional 143 percent increase in waste diversion.
WasteWise is a free, voluntary EPA program that helps businesses reduce their environmental impact and find cost savings through innovative waste reduction and recycling activities. By joining the WasteWise program, the business or institution commits to implementing waste reduction through waste prevention, recycling, and using recycled-content products.
“EPA applauds Sprint’s commitment to reducing waste and creating innovative recycling programs, which has resulted in cutting the volume of landfilled waste,” said Karl Brooks, EPA regional administrator. “Since 2010, Sprint has diverted more than 74,000 tons of useful material from landfills, resulting in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts are equal to the annual emissions of more than 26,000 passenger vehicles.”
Earlier this year, Sprint received two climate leadership awards for Supply Chain Leadership and Organizational Leadership based on its supply chain engagement practices and the company’s continued focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Last year, Sprint was the only telecommunications services company named to CDP’s S&P 500 Climate Performance Leadership Index (CPLI), which highlights companies that demonstrate strategies committed to improving their impact on the environment. Sprint was also named for the third consecutive year to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) North America, which tracks the corporate sustainability performance of the top 20 percent of the 600 largest companies by industry in the United States and Canada.
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 more than 55 million customers at the end of 2013 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.