U.S. consumers aren’t yet demanding sustainable products, such as mobile phones made with recycled plastics, hampering companies’ efforts to go green, said Sprint Corp. (S:US) Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse.
“I wish consumers were demanding us to be greener, because they really haven’t yet,” Hesse said today during The Year Ahead: 2014, a two-day conference in Chicago sponsored by Bloomberg LP. While a growing number of eco-friendly phones are being manufactured, customers aren’t asking for them, he said.
Sprint in 2009 created its first sustainable phone, a model that used less energy and featured recycled plastic. While the Overland Park, Kansas-based company is making other environmental improvements by moving customers to online billing and recycling old devices, some things are a hard sell because they don’t make business sense, Hesse said.
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Sprint, which was acquired by SoftBank Corp. (9984) this year, closed down its outdated Nextel network on June 30, losing some subscribers in the process. The company reported third-quarter revenue of $8.68 billion in October, below the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. Sprint, the third-largest U.S. wireless carrier, is now working to attract new customers with an upgraded network and lower-cost calling plans.
Shares of the company fell (S:US) 1.9 percent to $7.35 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 32 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has risen 25 percent.
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