EPA honors LG Electronics USA in electronics recycling challenge

LG recognized for leadership with certified third-party recyclers and for diverting 25,000 tons of used electronics from landfills.

February 12, 2016
Recycling Today Staff
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has honored LG Electronics USA with the 2015 Gold Tier Award, the top-level recognition in the EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Challenge.

The Gold Tier Award recognizes LG’s significant contributions to the EPA’s SMM Electronics Challenge goals by increasing the amount of used electronics collected for reuse and recycle, striving to send 100 percent of used electronics collected to certified third-party recyclers and publicly sharing detailed information about its electronic management practices, according to the EPA.

The EPA says the award also recognizes “LG’s dedication to increasing consumer awareness about the importance of third-party certified recycling through nationwide education and outreach efforts,” according to the EPA.

lg electronics logo“By committing to responsible management of used electronics through the SMM Electronics Challenge, LG is a true leader in this field,” says Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Land and Emergency Management. “LG’s actions have created a foundation of achievement that will guide it and other organizations to pursue environmental goals through responsible electronics management in the future.”

The SMM Challenge supports President Obama’s National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship as it increases safe and effective handling of used electronics in the United States, Stanislaus says.

William Cho, president and CEO of LG Electronics USA, applauds the EPA’s program, which encourages responsible recycling as a key to fighting climate change. Cho says, “By using third-party certified recyclers, we’re proud to help drive the use of environmentally protective practices. LG’s leadership in the SMM Challenge reflects our strong commitment to building a robust market for electronic recycling in the U.S.”

The EPA says the 2015 award recognizes LG Electronics USA’s collection and responsible recycling of nearly 25,000 tons of used electronics, diverting solid waste from landfills. This avoided the release of the equivalent of more than 64,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The positive environmental impact of LG’s responsible recycling is equal to taking 12,300 passenger cars off the road for a year or saving enough energy to power more than 8,000 U.S. homes for a year, according to the EPA.

At collection events, LG says it encourages consumers to replace recycled electronics with new, more energy efficient Energy Star certified LG TVs and monitors, Cho adds.

Supporting its commitment to responsible recycling, LG Electronics Inc. is the world’s first “Global e-Stewards Enterprise.” The e-Stewards standard, developed by the Basel Action Network, is the world’s most rigorous certification program for electronics recyclers. It prevents the export and dumping of toxic electronic waste in developing countries and calls for safeguards to protect private data and to ensure that recycling plant workers are not exposed to toxic materials.

EPA recently released a study assessing the implementation of e-Stewards and Responsible Recycling Standard for Electronics Recyclers (R2), the two third-party certification programs for electronic scrap recyclers in the United States. The study found that the certification standards are being implemented by auditors with thorough knowledge of the standards.

This special recognition of LG from the EPA comes on the heels of other electronics recycling honors for the electronics company, including the e-Cycling Initiative Leader Award from the Consumer Technology Association and the Design for Recycling® (DfR) Award from the world’s leading recycling industry group, the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Washington. ISRI’s highest honor recognizes LG for developing products such as 4K Ultra HD OLED and LED TVs with greener features designed to reduce the environmental load at every stage of the product lifecycle.

“Sustainability of our global resources requires business practices that incorporate environmental and economic considerations throughout the products lifecycle—from extraction and manufacturing, through use and finally end of life,” says Assistant EPA Administrator Stanislaus. “Through its innovative efforts for diverting electronics from landfills and recovering valuable resources, LG is a corporate role model, and I encourage others to follow their lead by implementing these best practices.”

Cho concludes, “Sustainability is a core business principle at LG Electronics, and we believe LG has a shared responsibility to protect the environment by reducing our environmental impact while enhancing the quality of life for consumers. We call this ‘Innovation for a Better Life’ and it means both responsible recycling and developing innovative products with the environment in mind, including a strong focus on DfR and Energy Star. Life’s good when you live green.”

For more information about LG’s responsible electronics recycling programs and overall sustainability efforts, visit www.lgrecyclingprogram.com.

LG Electronics USA Inc., based in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, is the North American subsidiary of LG Electronics, based in Seoul, South Korea.