EPA recognizes manufacturers and retailers for making electronics more sustainable

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Elektroschrott (Foto: Kroll / Recyclingportal.eu)

Washington, USA — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recognized leading electronics manufacturers, retailers, and brand owners for their significant contributions in diverting electronics from landfills. The winners will be honored during an event at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

“The successful practices spearheaded by our Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge participants are inspiring examples of how other manufacturers, retailers and brand owners throughout various industries can make their products more sustainable throughout their life cycles,” explained Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “I am proud to recognize the awardees and all SMM Electronics Challenge participants who are leading the industry in creating innovative ways to meld environmental responsibilities with sound business practices, which are necessary for future growth.”

Electronics recycling has increased

“CTA is honored to host EPA at CES 2017 and recognize the winners of the annual SMM Awards Challenge,” underlined Walter Alcorn, vice president, Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability, Consumer Technology Association. “These awards help demonstrate our industry’s focus on advancing sustainable operations to reduce e-waste and our industry’s overall environmental impact. In fact, through the consumer tech industry’s leadership, EPA research shows electronics recycling has increased more than that of any other product stream in the U.S.”

Electronic products are a global economic driver, with supply chains reaching around the world. By designing with the environment in mind and through a lifecycle lens, the product can be made to be more readily repairable and reusable, while toxic materials can be designed out of the product, which extends product life and facilitates recycling.

In the spirit of innovation, the EPA is unveiling a new award this year: The Cutting Edge Award. This award promotes bold ideas that have the potential to make a huge impact on the future of sustainable electronics management across a product’s full supply chain. It is designed to encourage life cycle thinking while creating ambitious and new ideas that have the potential to be game changers in addressing sustainability in electronics.

Dell, Staples and Samsung honored

Leaders from Best Buy (Gold Tier Award), Dell (Gold Tier), LG Electronics (Gold Tier), Samsung (Gold Tier), Sony (Bronze Tier), Sprint (Gold Tier), Staples (Gold Tier), and VIZIO (Bronze Tier) will gather at CES to celebrate their environmental achievements, which include diverting more than 256,000 tons of used electronics from landfills in 2015. Of the used electronics collected, almost all (more than 99.9 percent) were sent to third-party-certified recyclers, which helps to ensure that used electronics are handled in a manner that protects human health and the environment.

EPA is also honoring Dell, Staples and Samsung as the SMM Electronics Challenge Champion Award winners for exemplifying exceptional leadership and innovation in the sustainable management of electronics. These three companies serve as examples in demonstrating significant environmental, social, and economic outcomes for their organizations and the public that go above and beyond the requirements of the SMM Electronics Challenge.

  • Dell is receiving an award for its pioneering use of post-industrial recycled carbon filled polycarbonate in the Latitude E7450 laptop.
  • Staples is receiving an award for its “Make More Happen” initiative, an outreach and public education campaign that has provided information on Staples’ Technology Recycling Program to more than 6 million people.
  • Samsung is receiving the inaugural Cutting Edge Award for its Cadmium-free Quantum Dot ultra-high-definition televisions.

Mr. Stanislaus will also introduce a CES panel, “Can Sustainability Payoff in Tech?” The panel will bring together policymakers, researchers and leaders in the industry to discuss sustainability issues.

Source: Environmental Protection Agency