During a recent visit to our Reno TCM Center, we recognized Nevada Senator John Ensign’s efforts as an environmentalist, and his work towards improving digital access for disabled Americans, by presenting him with a “Serious Good Champion” award. Serious Good™ is Redemtech’s initiative to encourage corporate and government institutions to donate, and refurbish, their surplus IT to help address the growing Digital Divide. As an elected representative of a state with 14.5 percent unemployment, the Senator did not suspect that he was visiting one of the nation's most successful demonstrations for INSOURCING jobs in a critical industry – electronics recycling.
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.
We have all been misled by the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ electronics recycling business, UNICOR. "Overall, we found a culture at UNICOR that did not sufficiently value worker safety and environmental protection" says the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in its October 2010 report. Despite the Federal Prison Industries’ oft-repeated claims of OSHA compliance and environmental responsibility, the OIG found “numerous violations of health, safety and environmental laws, regulations, and Bureau of Prisons policies." And the UNICOR stain on the promise of responsible e-waste recycling spreads far beyond those few corporations that contract with them directly.
People turn to Gartner for all sorts of IT guidance. Their most well read research on specific industries is their Gartner Magic Quadrant, and now they’ve introduced a Magic Quadrant for the IT asset disposition (ITAD) industry, placing Redemtech in a prominent position in the leaders quadrant. We are proud of this objective validation of our business which we founded on unorthodox ideas that have since become ITAD industry standards. The Gartner Magic Quadrant for North America Information Technology Disposition inspires us to push Redemtech to be even more innovative—to continue working on our customers’ problems-in-waiting.
Our friends in Europe led the way toward responsible electronics recycling by implementing the WEEE Directive regulating all forms of electronic waste in the European Union. Unfortunately, mere laws and good intentions have done little to stem the tide of toxic ewaste flowing from the EU into developing countries, particularly to western Africa.
In the weeks since the e-Stewards Electronics Recycling Standard launch on April 15 (listen to the press conference audio recording here), we have received a great deal of positive feedback from our customers, prospects and other key stakeholders. The response validates our view that the e-Stewards Standard is good news for every enterprise concerned with fulfilling the best intentions embodied in its corporate e-waste recycling policy.
Anyone with good PowerPoint skills can pretend to be an IT services provider. Likewise, someone who rents a warehouse and installs a shredder can claim to be an electronics recycler. One of these popped up in Columbus recently, started by two guys in commercial real estate with lots of unrented property and time on their hands.
A guest column I authored for GreenerComputing “What Is – and What Isn’t – Responsible Recycling,” touches on the critical issues businesses must consider in choosing between two competing electronics recycling standards ostensibly intended to clean up an industry that’s proven over the years to be anything but trustworthy.
Holistic enterprise value—really superior returns from an asset management and IT asset disposition program—depend upon including a number of key stakeholders in the process. Last Monday, Nov. 9, Redemtech presented “Cultivating the Stakeholder Value Tree” to an audience at the Gartner IT Finance, Procurement and Asset Management Summit in Orlando. Included was a case study on using philanthropy as a disposition strategy, including material presented by Habitat for Humanity International.
Now that an ewaste export ban has been drafted in Congress, opponents are adding a new twist to an old argument to justify their toxic trade; they claim that THEIR ewaste exports only go to responsible recyclers in developing countries, and that such legal sales must be permitted AS A MATTER OF FREE TRADE. This position is tantamount to asking for license to dump hazardous ewaste in jurisdictions where the locals have no recourse for the toxic exposure they suffer.