July 30, 2012 at 6:36 PM ET
Wireless provider AT&T has begun rolling out an eco-rating system for its mobile devices, a program the company announced in February. Sixteen current models have been scored on a 5-star scale, but iPhones were not included.
More than six in 10 Americans said they would consider an eco-rating in their purchasing decision, all other things being equal, according to a survey by AT&T Wireless.
Apple's recent decision to rejoin the EPEAT environmental rating system for computers, after facing public criticism, may indicate consumers are concerned about how green all of their electronics are.
AT&T uses a 15-point scale, based on minimization of hazardous substances (4 points), environmentally preferable materials (3 points), energy efficiency (2 points), responsible end-of-life treatment (3 points) and environmentally responsible manufacturing (3 points).
Each point corresponds to a single criterion, such as having a removable battery. Phones must score at least 14 points to receive a 5-star rating.
Only the Samsung Galaxy Exhilarate earned five stars. Apple's iPhone was not included in the program. AT&T said in its announcement that all future phones will be rated, so it looks like we'll have to wait until this fall to see how the new iPhone compares.
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