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CEA eCycling Leadership Initiative: Not Just a Green Business Idea, A New Business Plan

Project Overview:

Project Green AV had the pleasure of speaking with Walter Alcorn, CEA's Vice President for Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability, to learn more about the motivation for the newly launched eCycling Leadership Initiative, the implementation of Green business practices and how CEA sees its role in promoting new business opportunities for manufacturers.

Achieving the Goals of the CEA eCycling Leadership Initiative

This month, CEA launched the eCycling Leadership Initiative, the first ever industry-wide electronics recycling initiative with the goal of recycling one billion pounds of electronics equipment in one year (three times the amount of electronics recycled in 2010).  Embraced by manufacturers across the industry, the eCycling initiative marks a shift toward sustainability through recycling as a standard business practice.

The initiative aims to reach its one billion pound goal by increasing awareness of the 5,000 national electronics recycling centers across the US; encouraging responsible, consistent recycling practices; supporting the move to third party certified recyclers; and keeping electronics out of landfills in developing nations.  As part of the initiative, CEA is educating manufacturers, retailers and consumers about proper, manageable electronics recycling and enhancing infrastructure to make eCycling accessible and sustainable.

To Manufacturers: "Make Recycling a Part of Your Business"

According to Walter Alcorn,  CEA's Vice President for Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability, the eCycling initiative "bubbled up from within CEA membership:" manufacturers were "looking to make recycling part of their business."  This push from manufacturers moved CEA to lead the charge across the industry, working with manufacturers, helping to set goals and expectations and implementing systems to maintain quality.

Why is CEA Leading the Charge?

Mr. Alcorn recognizes that CEA is in the unique position to lead manufacturers across the industry in order to "provide coordination and support [for companies to] work together and create economies of scale" outside of competition.  An industry wide effort of this kind "encourages manufacturers to work recycling into business plans" and allows "sustainability to become an everyday part of doing business."  

In contrast to a government mandate, an industry-led initiative like this one allows for "much more growth potential" for industry members.  As Alcorn points out, "if we wait for government mandates, recycling [and sustainability initiatives] go into the compliance box and become costs to be minimized." 

The eCycling Leadership Initiative instead provides the opportunity to meet the needs of manufacturers, retailers and consumers in order to change the way they do business for the better- and for the future.


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