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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 unveiled 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.

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 – equivalent to taking 129,000 passenger vehicles off of the road for one year. 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 received an award for its pioneering use of post-industrial recycled carbon filled polycarbonate in the Latitude E7450 laptop.
•Staples received 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 received the inaugural Cutting Edge Award for its cadmium-free quantum dot ultra-high-definition televisions.

Published in the February 2017 Edition of American Recycler News