Corporate Responsibility Report 2014 Sprint Good Works
People - section

a product that’s more than
the sum of its parts

More than glass, metal, plastic, silicon and circuits — the devices of
our day can do anything from the mundane to the miraculous.

They can empower a person who is deaf to communicate with friends and family. They can help people get back up when life has knocked them down. They can help a start-up get funded or push a business to become more efficient. Sprint is the channel that connects people and devices to a network of possibilities. We’re in the business of finding new and creative ways to connect customers, help those who need it, push innovation and get the most from the lifecycle of a phone — all while driving the Sprint business. To call it just a product seems to fall a little short.

providing accessible
solutions so that everyone has the ability to connect

We believe connecting with each other is essential to human happiness. Our devices and services help put a smile on a customer’s face. Here’s the thing, wireless technology should enable everyone to connect.

That’s why we put so much time and effort into helping meet the needs of people with disabilities.

We work closely with suppliers and manufacturers to create accessible technology that connects them to the world — that’s essential to human happiness. During 2014, we expanded accessibility for the blind or visually impaired, the Deaf or those with hearing loss, people with speech, cognitive or mobility disabilities, and the aging population.

actively shaping the evolution of telecommunications for people with disabilities

Sprint Relay is the largest and most advanced 711 Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider in the nation. For more than 25 years, our relay services have met the communication needs of those who are Deaf, have hearing loss, are Deaf-blind or have a speech disability. We’ve grown relay services to include 33 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and New Zealand, and are the exclusive service provider for the federal government.

Accessibility Spotlight

Received the Title IV Public Service Award from the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) for New York Relay Service
(September 2014)

Awarded the QSAC (Quality Services for the Autism Community) Change Maker Award for products and services that assist individuals with autism – QSAC (June 2014)

Sprint Relay National Director Mike Ellis was named one of the 2014 “Employees of the Year” by CAREERS & the disABLED magazine for his efforts on behalf of people with disabilities in the workplace and in the community
(May 2014)

man signing


Recognized by the United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) Association of Eastern Connecticut for outstanding support through Relay Connecticut.


Participated in the United Cerebral Palsy’s 2014. Enabled by Design-athon in Washington, D.C. It brings together designers, engineers, students, people with a disability and disability service professionals to focus on accessibility and usability in product design.

2014 highlights


Launched the Neurodiversity ID pack. It’s a unique bundle of mobile applications to help individuals with cognitive and neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia.


Continued to expand our line of accessible devices, such as the Kyocera Verve and LG G3. It’s a broader selection of phones that get to the heart of their needs.



Launched a new shopping website at accessnow. This site makes it easy for individuals who are blind or visually impaired to shop for Sprint’s accessible devices.


Worked with Samsung to host more than 20 blind or visually impaired students at our headquarters in Overland Park, Kansas. As part of the Alphapointe Technology Camp for youth, these students shared input on how Sprint and Samsung can improve accessible mobile technology to better serve the blind and visually impaired community. And each student received a new Samsung Galaxy Tab® 3, donated by Samsung.


Lifeline Assistance Program
during tough times, Sprint helps connect the less fortunate

It’s not easy getting back on one’s feet. Sprint helps with free and low-cost wireless phone service to eligible people who couldn’t otherwise afford it. It helps them find jobs, make medical appointments and arrange childcare. Through Assurance Wireless, a leading Lifeline Assistance Program, Sprint is helping consumers that have come on hard times. At the end of 2014, Assurance Wireless was available in more than 40 states, reaching 92 percent of Lifeline-eligible households. Sprint’s 2015 target is to have Assurance Wireless service available for 97 percent of Lifeline-eligible households.

business meeting
helping business customers shrink their environmental footprint and grow their bottom line.

Our business solutions help other businesses reduce waste and save money. Whether it’s enabling a remote workforce, reducing fleet vehicles or automating processes to eliminate time and paper, Sprint solutions are helping our business customers meet both their environmental and financial goals.

Sprint is an industry leader in fleet management and now offers solutions in many categories that provide environmental benefits. One of our newer solutions provides in-vehicle monitoring of driver behavior for auto insurance companies. Providing specific driving data allows insurance companies to offer rate plans based on actual driver behavior, so you get safer drivers and smarter insurance. The service includes a smartphone app that lets drivers see how their vehicle’s health, idling, high speed

and acceleration affect the environment. Read about this and other solutions on our business website at

, a Kansas City dry cleaning company, has cut its costs, improved safety and bolstered its green image since using a Sprint fleet solution from Geotab. Hangers couldn’t find an easy way to identify and correct risky or fuel-wasting driver behavior, but after installing GeoTab plug-and-play devices in their company vans, this all changed. They could easily monitor vehicle activity and efficiently send out the nearest vehicle. The result? Far less gas per vehicle – up to 20 percent, because they were able to eliminate unnecessary idling, and improve pickup times. Their customers liked the change, too – fewer fumes and faster pick-ups. That’s what we call a win-win solution.

mobile phone graphic
supporting fundraising
with profitable apps

With CauseTap, fundraising is just a tap away. Through this fun and simple smartphone app, users pick a charity to support, anything from environmental to educational causes and more. Within the CauseTap app, users can browse a wide range of other apps, including ones that are popular with other supporters and endorsed by the cause. The charity earns money whenever supporters download participating apps from the Google Play store via CauseTap. There’s no extra cost to consumers, whether an app is free or paid, and there’s no donation involved. The money for charities comes from participating app publishers that pay a promotional fee when their apps are installed. Sprint customers with an Android smartphone can download CauseTap in the Apps section of Sprint Zone and Sprint Fun & Games.

Dirigo Agency used to collect donations by mail or through a website. They switched over to the Vantiv Mobile Accept app on a tablet and relied on Sprint’s wireless network for quick and easy donations at live events. This helped them speed up and secure the donation process at two functions attended by hundreds of supporters for the Rockville Science Center.

The old system pushing donors to the Science Center website or mailing a personal check was inconvenient and outdated. Prospects were lost and donations didn’t grow. After using the Vantiv Mobile Accept on a tablet, donations grew and came in more quickly. Everyone, including the donors, the Science Center staff and trustees, were thrilled with the results.


Participants from the 2014 Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator

Participants from the 2014 Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator

helping breathe life into the future of mobile health

Perhaps no industry will be transformed more by wireless innovation than healthcare. 500 million smartphone users worldwide are expected to be using some type of mobile healthcare app by next year. It’s why Sprint launched a program to help get healthcare start-ups off the ground.

The Sprint Mobile Health Accelerator, in cooperation with Techstars, is an immersive, mentor-driven program for healthcare start-ups. These companies set up shop in Kansas City for three months to build and strengthen their businesses. Each company received up to $120,000 in funding.

10 mobile health-related start-up teams from across the country and Australia were selected from hundreds of applicants. It was a diverse group of companies. For instance, Sickweather mines social media data to provide real-time illness forecasting. Another start-up was FitBark, creators of a small and stylish activity-monitoring device for dogs.

At the end of the program, all 10 start-ups delivered presentations to 1,500 nationally respected entrepreneurs, investors, regional health care representatives and community leaders. Each company pitched their plan

on how to tackle wellness, chronic illness, animal health and other challenges in the health industry.

Since the 2014 program ended, some of the startups have moved on to bigger things. For example, Sickweather launched its Apple Watch App and FitBark will be available in Target stores soon. We are thrilled by the success of the 2014 class are eager to see what new ideas emerge from the 2015 class.

dtore help

Our annual goal is to have 70 percent of new devices meet our environmental specifications. Through the end of 2014, we reached 56 percent.

When can we expect 100 percent compliance? Well, never. That’s because the criteria get a little tougher every year. It’s important to be challenging enough to drive meaningful advances. The response from suppliers has been great, and we’re impressed by their speed in meeting the challenge.

the environmental voice
of the wireless industry

Making tech products more sustainable isn’t easy. But it’s absolutely necessary. It’s one of our greatest opportunities to make a huge difference – in our environment and within our industry. That’s why Sprint helped drive development of the industry’s first standard for sustainable mobile devices with Underwriters Laboratories Environment.

That standard, UL 110, is the cornerstone of Sprint’s Environmental Specifications in our supplier scorecard for smartphones, tablets and mobile hotspots. We scored our suppliers on the following environmental criteria in 2014:

UL 110
Device, packaging and other in-box materials are UL 110 compliant at the Certified or Platinum level.

Criteria for energy efficiency and power consumption rating.

Includes use of recycled fiber, post-consumer waste, chlorine-free bleach, responsible inks and adhesives, and more.

Includes device reparability and recyclability rate.

keeping millions
of phones far, far
away from landfills

With millions of wireless phones being retired across the globe, we are taking action to collect these unused devices from our customers for reuse and recycling. Through 2014, we collected 32.5 percent of the devices we sell. While this is lower than we’d like, we’re up for the challenge.

Why isn’t the collection rate higher?

A few reasons. Turns out, Buyback isn’t as self-sufficient as we thought; it still needs full support from the top down to ensure that customers utilize the buyback offer.

How are we fixing things? The Sprint leader who initially helped us achieve high collection rates is back on the case. We’re refocusing on Buyback as a top priority, making it easier for customers to trade in devices and promoting plans that encourage buyback. E.g., leasing plans and the “Cut Your Bill in Half” promotion require customers to turn in their old phone.

Sprint was the first U.S. carrier to launch a Buyback program that really took the idea to the next level. We were the first to offer instant, in-store credit for any eligible device, regardless of carrier or manufacturer. In 2014, Sprint bought back over three million phones and put more than $250 million back into customers’ pockets. Not too shabby.

The Sprint Buyback program also puts more money back in our business’s pockets. We cut operating costs by reusing most of the devices we collect. This means we put these device back to work by making them like new again and using them for our handset

insurance and repair programs, which helped us avoid more than $1 billion in costs during 2014.

And of course, our Buyback program is good for the environment by preventing millions of discarded devices from entering the waste stream.

Sprint’s device collection programs also help benefit children and young adults. Consumers can contribute the net proceeds from their device to Sprint Project Connect which provides funding for free resources related to online safety topics such as cyber

bullying, online predators, social networking, personal data sharing and more. We are proud to work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to help youth learn how to use technology safely.

Through our device collection programs, Sprint has collected more than 61 million devices. That means we kept more than 15 million pounds of electronic waste from entering our landfills.

Device Recycling Spotlight

For the fourth straight year, Sprint was recognized as having the best phone buyback and trade-in program among all major U.S. carriers by Compass Intelligence, a market analytics and consulting firm (January 2015)

Sprint is the first and only carrier to receive the EPA Champion Award and Gold-Tier Participant in the EPA Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge – U.S Environmental Protection Agency (September 2014)

Sprint Buyback wins CSR Award for Best Recycling Program – PR News (April 2014)

device recycling stats