Throughout my career, I’ve been privileged to work for and with organizations that really cared about the communities in which they operated. All of these companies went the extra mile to do the right thing, and to share in their abundance.
When talking about the industry, I often use the phrase “all e-waste companies are not similar,” with regards to capability. After all, no one company does it all, and by that I mean collecting, logistics, refurbishing, selling, dismantling, shredding and manufacturing co-mingled shredded e-waste fractions into pure scrap grades for domestic metal ingot/slab or ready-to-use poly resins.
A non-profit organization in Minnesota recently hosted a meeting to discuss its work with low-income people in the local community and the issue of the “digital divide.” In describing the meeting in a local newspaper article, Steve Cramer, executive director of Project for Pride in Living, Inc., in Minneapolis, wrote that the digital divide is not “an intellectual concept, but a real-world problem for families trying to find employment, manage their finances, stay connected with their children's schooling, find out where to vote, or perform a number of life's necessities now done chiefly, if not exclusively, online.”
If you let the precepts of sustainability influence your holiday giving, you might find your tastes and tolerance have shifted in ways you may not have anticipated. There’s plenty of joy (and fun) to be had in searching for something that can be re-gifted, something from a local thrift store, something from a local business or artist. An “embarrassment of riches” might indeed feel somewhat embarrassing and the carcasses of a lifetime of consumerism chant “’tis the season to give stuff away.”
Once companies discovered that their brand value depends partly on the strength of their relationship with the communities where they operate, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was born, and philanthropy became a mainstream business practice. Good.
At Habitat for Humanity, our experience has been that the vast majority of our 80,000 homeowners across the country are on the wrong side of the Digital Divide. That’s why we are partnering with Redemtech on Serious Good, an initiative to foster corporate donations of refurbished computers to help people cross the Digital Divide. Through Serious Good, our Habitat homeowners will get the digital tools they need for success in school, at work and in the community.
I was shopping last weekend with my daughter in an antique store, looking for things I thought might make good Christmas gifts. This particular store was part jumble-of-junk, part museum, part yard sale. An antique store is a good place to go if you want to marvel at the pace of obsolescence, and reflect on the good ole days.
Through this forum, we hope to raise awareness of the issues and challenges inherent in managing IT equipment to the highest standards of financial, social and environmental responsibility. We welcome you to join the dialogue. Learn more»