Global electronics and appliance innovator LG Electronics has received high praise from the toxic trade watchdog group Basel Action Network (BAN) for ensuring that none of LG’s e-waste is exported to developing countries. BAN applauded LG Electronics USA for confirming that all of its customer take-back programs and all of its own office equipment is recycled responsibly through certified e-Stewards® recyclers. LG is even in the process of certifying its own Service Center under the e-Stewards program.
e-Stewards is the most rigorous social and environmentally responsible certification for electronics recyclers. Under this robust program, e-Stewards recyclers must account for every pound of hazardous e-waste they process and must not allow it to be sent to developing countries. The e-Stewards program was created by BAN after it discovered that the majority of e-waste in the U.S. handed over to recyclers for recycling is instead exported to China, Nigeria, India or other developing countries where it is handled in dangerous, highly-polluting backyard operations that harm workers and local communities.
LG Electronics had already become a global e-Stewards Enterprise company in 2011, an honor bestowed on companies that pledge to make best efforts to utilize e-Stewards recyclers. Today, LG has gone even further as the first manufacturer to succeed in sending 100 percent of the e-waste it controls in the U.S. to e-Stewards recyclers, including e-waste from its service center in Huntsville, Alabama.
“Environmental stewardship is a core business principle at LG Electronics,” said Wayne Park, president and CEO, LG Electronics USA. “We are committed to protecting the planet for the entire life-cycle of our products. And, as a proud e-Stewards Enterprise company, LG will continue to spread this ethic to our other operations around the world.”
Consistent with its e-Stewards commitment and its leading role as a Gold participant in the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge, LG Electronics USA has collected and responsibly recycled more than 30 million pounds of electronics in 2013 through July using e-Stewards-certified recyclers. The LG Electronics Recycling Program recycled 37 million pounds for the entire year of 2012.
“LG has surprised us with the speed by which they have moved to become the most responsible electronics company operating in the United States when it comes to managing e-waste,” said BAN's Executive Director, Jim Puckett. “Their commitment to accountable recycling here in the U.S. demonstrates real leadership at a time when far too many in the industry turn a blind eye to the life cycle impacts of their products, particularly in developing countries.”