Sprint CEO Says Customers Aren’t Demanding Greener Phones

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) 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.

More news and video from The Year Ahead: 2014

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 (9984) this year, closed down its outdated Nextel network on June 30, losing some subscribers in the process.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 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.

To contact the reporters on this story: Leslie Patton in Chicago at lpatton5@bloomberg.net; Stephanie Ruhle in New York at sruhle2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net; Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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