Alcoa Leads the Way in Responsible e-Waste Recycling -- Earns e-Stewards Enterprise Designation

The Basel Action Network (BAN) announced today that Alcoa has become an e-Stewards® Enterprise, recognition for the company’s commitment to responsible recycling practices for its electronic waste (e-waste) in North America and advocating the responsible disposal of e-waste everywhere. The distinction is granted to companies that agree to always make best efforts to use only e-Stewards® Electronics Recyclers. “Consumer electronics represents a fast-growing market for aluminum, with the aluminum content in laptops alone expected to increase 30 percent by 2013 from a 2010 baseline,” said Alcoa’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Kevin Anton. “By joining the e-Stewards Enterprise program, Alcoa brings its long-standing environmental stewardship and expertise to help solve the growing e-waste challenge.”

Alcoa is a recognized sustainability leader and has been a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for nine consecutive years. Through this new e-Stewards partnership with BAN, Alcoa is working to ensure its raw materials are responsibly recycled at their end of life and is driving sustainability in the consumer electronics sector.

The Basel Action Network, an environmental organization dedicated to promoting responsible e-waste recycling practices and preventing toxic trade, created the e-Stewards Recycler and Enterprise programs to stem the tide of toxic electronic waste that currently is exported to developing countries.

“At this pivotal time in what is shaping up to be a worldwide e-waste dumping crisis, Alcoa has laudably joined a growing list of business, academic and governmental leaders taking concrete action to keep e-waste out of landfills worldwide,” said Jim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action Network, creator of the e-Stewards program.

As an e-Stewards Enterprise, Alcoa commits to ensuring its e-waste does not contribute to the global toxic waste crisis. E-Stewards Certified Recyclers undergo a professional audit every year to guarantee they do not export hazardous recycling byproducts to developing countries, use U.S. prison labor, or dump in municipal landfills. E-Stewards recyclers also ensure that private data is kept secure, and that their operations protect both workers and the environment.

“Principled and practical certification programs like e-Stewards are among the best tools in our global sustainability toolbox,” said Frances Beinecke, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, also an e-Stewards Enterprise. “Today, Alcoa has thrown its hat into a new arena of increasing importance – electronic product and waste stewardship.”