ered "green"? It is important to extend our concern for minimizing the environmental impact of products beyond the traditional boundaries of design and manufacture to include such downstream considerations as use and end-of-life. It is in part to understand the implications of this paradigm shift that AT&T began a study to investigate what makes a product "green" from a life cycle perspective.
To speed the development and application of "green" design principles, and to investigate the environmental implications of the entire life cycle of a product, a single product was selected for the demonstration project. The criteria used to select the product were its size, number of components used, and length of production cycle. The obvious small product, with a minimum number of components and with a short product delivery cycle, given AT&T's product mix, was a telephone. This led to the Green Phone Feasibility Study Project.
For this feasibility study, a narrow view of environmentally preferable options, or "greenness," was selected. One reason for this is that the applicable methodologies, such as life cycle analysis (or LCA), are not very rigorous at this time. AT&T felt that it could not wait to begin developing "green" product principles until methodological questions were settled. For purposes of this project, for example, if a recyclable plastic is used, this is viewed as "green," even though, if a rigorous life cycle analysis were done, it might not be truly ''green" when balanced against the energy consumed and the waste produced to manufacture and recycle the plastic.