Panasonic Takes “Founding Leader” Role in R2 Global Sustainable Recycling Electronics Initiative
Panasonic acts to advance responsible reuse and recycling of used electronics
Panasonic Corporation of North America is proud to participate as founding partner in the newly created R2 Responsible Recycling Leader Program designed to increase sustainable electronics recycling. The program was announced today by the Sustainable Electronics Recycling Initiative (SERI), which manages the R2 electronics recycling standard and certification process.
"Panasonic has been a leader in responsible electronics recycling for nearly two decades and we’re always looking for ways to make things better--better for the planet and better for business, too,” said Peter Fannon, Vice President, Corporate & Government Affairs, Panasonic Corporation of North America. “We are proud of our Founding Leader role in this new R2 program, as it reflects Panasonic’s global commitment to environmental stewardship and extends our own recycling education and outreach initiatives,” he said.
Panasonic joins other founding leaders including Goodwill Industries International, Microsoft and Xerox. Participating organizations commit to support R2 certified electronics recycling and refurbishment, and to consider R2 certification when choosing recycling partners. The R2 Standard, created in 2008 by the U.S. EPA, electronics manufacturers, recycling companies and other groups is designed to ensure that electronics recycling and refurbishment facilities adhere to the recycling industry’s best practices in worker health and safety, environmental protection and chain-of-custody reporting. Over 540 facilities in 17 countries are R2 certified.
Panasonic’s Leadership in Electronics Recycling
Panasonic demonstrates its commitment to global, environmentally responsible recycling of electronic products in many ways, for example:
- Recycling events: From the 1990s, Panasonic has sponsored each year scores of recycling events in communities throughout the U.S., collecting so far approximately 142 million pounds of end-of-life consumer electronics for responsible recycling—equivalent to some 2.1 million CRT-televisions, although the events accept all other consumer electronics, too. Most recently, on April 22 Earth Day, Panasonic partnered with Covanta, Urban Renewal and the City of Newark to host an electronics waste collection event.
- Workplace design: The company’s new headquarters in Newark built to meet LEED certification standards includes a stewardship of resources, from the recycled content contained in office furniture to Forest Stewardship Council certified wood used on the building’s exterior.
- E-waste services: To increase the reach and effectiveness of recycling by managing the collection of the products of many other manufacturers, Panasonic co-founded the Electronics Manufacturers Recycling Management Company (MRM) in 2007. It already supports over 1,800 consumer-convenient collection sites across the U.S., and in 2013 alone, it sent over 44 million pounds of electronics waste to R2 and other certified recyclers.
- Sustainability practices: Panasonic is a proud participant in U.S. EPA’s Sustainable Materials Management Electronics Challenge Program, in which electronics manufacturers commit to use only third-party certified recyclers, such as R2. And in its own products, Panasonic strives to design for end-of-life ‘de-manufacturing’, in order to make recycling and reuse of materials easier and more cost-effective.
- Materials reuse: Panasonic has a world-wide goal of utilizing 16% or greater post-consumer recycled content materials in the production of new products by 2018, Panasonic’s 100th year anniversary. For example, Panasonic’s innovative plastics recovery and cleaning technologies have already helped achieve 15.7% by the end of 2013; and recycling TV tube glass into a special kind of fiberglass is replacing less efficient insulation in products from bread makers to water heaters.
- Battery recycling: Panasonic was a founding member of “Call2Recycle”—the first consumer battery collection program in the world—to ensure rechargeable batteries can be responsibly recycled. The program provides convenient battery collection bins at thousands of retail and other locations in North America and around the world.
About Panasonic Corporation of North America
Panasonic Corporation of North America provides a broad line of digital and other electronics products and solutions for consumer, business and industrial use. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Osaka, Japan-based Panasonic Corporation and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In Interbrand’s 2013 Annual “Best Global Green Brands” report, the Panasonic brand rose to number four, the highest ranked electronics brand in the report (http://bit.ly/19WFSpu). As part of continuing sustainability efforts, last year Panasonic Corporation of North America relocated its headquarters to a new facility, built to meet LEED certification standards, adjacent to Newark Penn Station in Newark, NJ. Learn more about Panasonic at www.panasonic.com and its sustainability reports and activities at panasonic.net/sustainability.
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SERI, formerly R2 Solutions, is a 501c3 non-profit organization (application pending) that undertakes educational and other activities to advance responsible electronics reuse and recycling around the world. It is the housing body for the R2 Standard. More information can be found at www.sustainableelectronics.org.
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