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Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge: Recognition and Awards

Recognition is a key element of the EPA's Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Program and the Electronics Challenge. EPA is providing public recognition and awards to SMM Electronics Challenge participants for their commitment to recycling electronics responsibly.

 

On this page:


Public Recognition

Participants will be publicly recognized on EPA's website as a registrant, new participant or active participant.

Stage of Participation Status Posted on EPA website
Completion of SMM Electronics online registration Registrant
Baseline data submitted New Participant
Annual data submitted and reviewed by EPA Active Participant

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Awards

Electronics Challenge Awards are offered in two categories: Tier and Champion. Tier Awards are given in recognition of achieving all the requirements under a Gold, Silver or Bronze Tier. Champion Awards are given in three categories: Product, Non-Product, and Cutting Edge. For the purposes of the Champion awards, a product is an item that is manufactured, developed or refined for sale and is in the marketplace; and a non-product is an internal or external plan, strategy or policy for an organization or a service, program or item that is not intended for individual sale to a consumer. The Cutting Edge award recognizes participants for their new, game-changing ideas in electronics sustainability

Apply for an Electronics Challenge Champion Award

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2017 Challenge Results and Award Winners

In 2016, the combined efforts of the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge participants achieved notable environmental results. By rethinking business as usual and committing to innovative and responsible end-of-life electronics management, Electronics Challenge participants collectively:

  • Diverted 227,467 tons of end-of-life electronics from the landfill;
  • Sent 227,467 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers; and
  • Avoided the equivalent of more than 597,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

This is equal to any one of the following:

  • Taking over 116,000 passenger vehicles off of the road for one year;
  • Generating enough electricity for more than 81,000 U.S. homes for one year; or
  • Replacing more than 18.1 million incandescent lamps with LEDs.

Environmental benefits calculated using the following tools:

EPA is pleased to announce the 2017 Electronics Challenge Tier Award winners and Champion Award winners:

  • Tier Awards

    SMM Electronics Challenge Tier Awards are given in recognition of achieving all the requirements under a Gold, Silver or Bronze Tier. Participants join at the level that best suits their organization, experience and ability. By meeting Tier requirements, participants receive Gold, Silver or Bronze award designations. We are pleased to recognize the following companies for their outstanding efforts in 2016 to advance the responsible management of used electronics through third-party certified recycling. The companies listed received the following Tier Awards:

    Active Participants Tier Award
    Dell Inc. Gold
    Samsung Electronics Gold
    Staples, Inc. Gold
    Xerox Gold
    Best Buy Co., Inc. Silver
    LG Electronics USA, Inc. Silver
    VIZIO, Inc. Silver
    Sony Electronics Inc. Bronze
  • Champion Awards

    Champion Awards are given to SMM Electronics Challenge participants who demonstrate the highest level of vision, coalition-building, and execution in designing sustainable products and in implementing programs and policies related to electronics sustainability. Electronics Challenge Participants must apply for Champion Awards, which are given in three categories: Product, Non-Product, and Cutting Edge. For the purposes of the Champion Awards, a Product is an item that is manufactured, developed or refined for sale and is in the marketplace, while a Non-Product is an internal or external plan, strategy, or policy for an organization, or a service, program or item that is not intended for individual sale to a consumer. The Cutting Edge award recognizes participants for their new, game-changing ideas in electronics sustainability. EPA is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2017 SMM Electronics Challenge Champion Awards:

    Company Champion Award
    LG Electronics USA, Inc. Product
    Staples Non-Product
    Samsung Electronics Cutting Edge
    Best Buy Co., Inc. Honorable Mention: Product
    Dell Inc. Honorable Mention: Cutting Edge
  • Details on the 2017 Award Winners

    LG Electronics USA, Inc. Winner, Product Category

    LG is receiving an award for showing great vision in continually replacing and reducing use of hazardous materials in electronics products by developing an OLED TV that is mercury-free, uses PVC-free internal cables and BFR-free housing and stand parts, and greatly reduces the potential harm to humans and the environment. LG’s internal production processes to reduce or eliminate as many toxics as possible demonstrates LG’s vision for the future of electronics to have as little environmental and human health impact as possible through advancements to their products.

    The OLED TVs have reduced raw material content compared to conventional flat panel TVs because the OLED panel makes it easier to design a slim and lightweight TV. As a result, the LG OLED TV weighs nearly 32% less than a conventional 55 inch LED TV. LG has also reduced the number of plastic resins used in their product design and labeled those resins to facilitate disassembly and recycling.

    LG is also commended for their high-level of engagement with suppliers to improve supplier environmental performance by transferring LG’s green technologies and know-how to the suppliers’ operations through the company’s “Green Program Plus.”

    Staples, Winner, Non-Product Category

    Staples is being recognized for being a leader in making it as easy for consumers to recycle their electronics as it is to buy them. By creating a convenient and secure option for consumers to recycle their used electronics at 1,250 stores nationwide, Staples fills a huge gap in the market, where consumers do not have simple, accessible options to recycle their electronics. Staples’ outreach and public education initiative not only increased the amount of e-waste collected per store in a climate of lighter products, but also ensured that 100 percent of e-waste collected was sent to a third party recycler.

    Staples started the first national retailer e-waste recycling program in 2007, the Technology Recycling Program. The program has grown to ensure that 100% of products are sent to an e-Stewards®-certified recycler, thus ensuring that the materials will be responsibly reused or recycled. Staples accepts many types of electronics at its stores, regardless of where the customer purchased the devices. Staples increased its total tons collected per store from 6.50 tons/store to 6.83 tons/store in 2016, equaling a 5% increase in pounds collected in 2016. Considering that product weights may have started to decrease overall, an increase in weight collected is impressive.

    To increase awareness about electronics recycling, Staples created an integrated marketing plan using social media, circulars, and direct email. It expanded its recycling services to include a Business to Business (B2B) recycling service through the Staples Advantage Program.

    Staples has worked with OEMs, Basel Action Network, the Electronics Takeback Coalition, large B2B customers, and Electronics Recyclers International in various ways that represent excellent coalition building.

    Staples has also registered, where applicable, with state government agencies as a free and convenient recycling solution for customers. In addition, in states where Staples isn’t required to register, the OEMs typically notify the state agency that the Staples Technology Recycling Program is available in the state, regardless of the brand of product that is being returned.

    Staples also conducted extensive outreach to customers through its OEMs, and the launch of a Staples video intended to help customers and sales teams understand tech recycling services for businesses. In addition, marketing of the recycling program to clients throughout the U.S. has help Staples reach over 6 million consumers with information on the Technology Recycling Program. The tools and methods developed by Staples can be easily adopted by other retailers for both electronics and non-electronics products.

    Samsung, Winner, Cutting Edge

    Samsung Electronics is recognized for their unique and fun Galaxy Smartphone Upcycling program. This innovative approach for the millions of old Galaxy smartphones provides all the necessary resources and tools to allows users to “upcycle” an old smartphone into a new product and share applications on the Upcycling website. Other users can download and use these crowd sourced ideas.

    EPA commends this visionary program for its potential to be game-changing in prolonging resource use and altering the way consumers around the world, especially in the U.S., perceive used products and their usefulness. Upcycling reduces the amount of e-waste and saves virgin material resources and the energy resources necessary to extract them, which reduces air emissions and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

    The Galaxy Upcycling program’s ability to unleash creativity and provide new solutions aligns with the growing age of the “Internet of Things,” where more products are designed to be “smart,” namely interconnected and responsive to commands. Repurposing used products to serve a critical new function—for example as a “hub” or as a different kind of controller - is a great way to avoid needing to build new products. For example, repurposed phones will find an immediate and tangible place in users’ smart home applications such as a closed circuit TV, a desktop PC, a smart pet feeder, and an arcade game console.

    Samsung is collaborating on the Galaxy Upcycling program with some of the largest influencers in the maker/hacker/repair space. The open source platform Samsung is developing will be transparent and the public will be able to track uptake through user forums and other decentralized sites, including social media. The shared nature of the software and the used smartphones makes the new products more affordable, thus enabling more people to become users of technology.

    The right team has been assembled on the software and hardware needs, and partnerships with mobile phone carriers have been established to educate consumers on possible uses of old phones, allowing society to participate more fully in the project.

    Best Buy Co., Inc., Honorable Mention, Product

    Best Buy is receiving an Honorable Mention award for its unique partnership with HP to deliver a closed loop recycled plastic printer, the “first of its kind” in the retail market. The printer currently uses 10% recycled content plastic from Best Buy’s recycling efforts, and HP plans to expand its recycler base in the future. Since its launch in 2016, the recycled content printer has sold 50,000 units. The project has the potential to be scaled up throughout the industry, thereby creating greater value for collected material.

    To get consumers to bring back their printers for recycling and create supply for the new recycled plastic printer, Best Buy and HP launched the “Recycle and Save” offer in all stores, providing all customers an additional 15% off the purchase of the new HP printer when recycling and replacing an old unit, regardless of brand. In 2016, more than 50,000 coupons were issued.

    Best Buy and HP are recognized for their industry leadership in finding revenue-generating opportunities for both parties through better materials management. By utilizing recycled content, Best Buy has helped its electronics recyclers to strengthen the ability of downstream vendors to reuse recycled content in a responsible manner, thus benefiting not only the recyclers and downstream vendors, but the entire electronics recycling industry, the public and the environment.

    Dell Inc., Honorable Mention, Cutting Edge

    Dell is receiving an Honorable Mention award for creating the first commercial-scale global ocean plastics supply chain by upcycling ocean waste into viable products rather than allowing the plastics to break down or become too contaminated to be reusable.

    Dell’s initial pilot project takes plastics collected from beaches, waterways, and coastal areas and uses them in a new packaging system for their XPS 13 2-in-1 laptop, thereby preventing 16,000 pounds of plastics from washing into the ocean. In addition to helping put a dent in the vast ocean plastics problem, Dell is commended for its commitment to:

    • create jobs for recyclers;
    • find a cost-competitive way to use oceans plastics;
    • provide a template for others to follow; and
    • increase the scalability of the project by expanding partnerships with processors, NGOs, and government officials.

    For instance, Dell estimates that as it scales the project, it could divert more than 3 million pounds of plastics from the ocean by 2021—which is equivalent to preventing 66 million water bottles from washing out to sea.

    Dell works with entrepreneurial pickers, volunteer groups, and professional recycling organizations to collect the plastics, which are aggregated and sorted by various waste processors. After the plastics go through processing and refinement (to ensure a clean supply), Dell mixes the ocean plastic with other recycled HDPE plastics in a 1:3 ratio. Mixing like this ensures impurities within the ocean plastics do not affect the quality or chemical composition of the end plastic. The resin is made entirely from recycled-content plastics, 25% being ocean plastics.

    Dell’s infographicExit on ocean plastic provides an excellent tool to help create greater public awareness of the ocean plastic debris problem and serve as a call to action to other companies and to the public. Dell’s ocean plastic project has had more than 2 billion impressions in social media, a clear indication of the awareness that the project has already garnered.


Previous Challenge Results and Award Winners

  • 2016 Challenge Results

    In 2015, the combined efforts of the Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Electronics Challenge participants achieved notable environmental results. By rethinking business as usual and committing to innovative and responsible end-of-life electronics management, Electronics Challenge participants collectively:

    • Diverted 256,822 tons of end-of-life electronics from the landfill;
    • Sent 256,614 tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers; and
    • Avoided the emission of more than 673,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

    This is equal to any one of the following:

    • Taking over 129,000 passenger vehicles off of the road for one year;
    • Generating enough electricity for more than 90,000 U.S. homes for one year; or
    • Replacing more than 21.6 million incandescent lamps with LEDs.

    Tier Awards

    Electronics Challenge Tier Awards are given in recognition of achieving all the requirements under a Gold, Silver or Bronze Tier. Participants join at the level that best suits their organization, experience and ability. By meeting Tier requirements, participants receive Gold, Silver or Bronze award designations. We are pleased to recognize the following companies for their outstanding efforts in 2015 to advance the responsible management of used electronics through third-party certified recycling. The companies listed received the following Tier Awards.

    Active Participants Tier Award
    Best Buy Co., Inc. Gold
    Dell Inc. Gold
    LG Electronics USA, Inc. Gold
    Samsung Electronics Gold
    Sony Electronics Inc. Bronze
    Sprint Gold
    Staples, Inc. Gold
    VIZIO, Inc. Bronze

    Champion Awards

    Champion Awards are given to Electronics Challenge participants who demonstrate the highest level of vision, coalition-building, and execution of programs and policies related to responsible used electronics management. Electronics Challenge Participants must apply for Champion Awards, which are given in three categories: Product, Non-Product, and, new in 2016, Cutting Edge. For the purposes of the Champion Awards, a Product is an item that is manufactured, developed or refined for sale and is in the marketplace, while a Non-Product is an internal or external plan, strategy, or policy for an organization, or a service, program or item that is intended for individual sale to a consumer. The Cutting Edge award recognizes participants for their new, game-changing ideas in electronics sustainability. EPA is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2016 Electronics Challenge Champion Awards:

    Company Champion Award
    Dell Inc. Product
    Staples, Inc. Non-Product
    Samsung Electronics Cutting Edge

    Details on the 2016 Award Winners

    Dell Inc., Winner, Product Category

    Dell Inc. is recognized for the use of post-industrial recycled (PIR) carbon filled polycarbonate in the Latitude E7450 laptop, the first laptop to use this material. By using PIR material, it has kept 170,000 pounds of carbon fiber from being landfilled in 2015. This material was developed in response to a specific technical challenge: to maintain strength and reliability of enclosures as mobility products become thinner and lighter. The design solution also needed to be in line with Dell’s Legacy of Good goals without adding cost. In the end, the choice of PIR recycled carbon fiber proved an ideal fit, showing there does not need to be a compromise between design and sustainability – the two can be integrated and mutually serve each other. Life cycle assessment (LCA) results show that reclaimed carbon fiber has approximately a 10% smaller carbon footprint than that of virgin carbon fiber weave and 76% smaller carbon footprint than magnesium alloy – two industry-standard notebook enclosure materials.

    To continue to decrease their products’ environmental footprint, Dell is working to develop a post-consumer recycled (PCR) polycarbonate-based carbon fiber-reinforced plastic. Also, with Dell’s closed loop recycling program, products containing these resins can be recovered and recycled again as they come back into Dell’s consumer and commercial recycling programs in the future.

    Staples, Inc., Winner, Non-Product Category

    Staples is recognized for an outreach and public education initiative, which reached over 6 million consumers with information on their Technology Recycling Program. Through their efforts, Staples attained a significant increase in the tons collected per store from 2014 to 2015 and then ensured that 100% of the e-waste collected from consumers was sent to a certified recycler. Staples global goal is to recycle 40 million pounds of e-waste each year by 2020.

    Staples has made a commitment on behalf of its customers to ensure their electronics are recycled to the highest environmental standards. The strategic alignment of program partners has bridged their entire value chain for customers by aligning Staples’ retailer program with original equipment manufacturer support and responsible electronics recycling.

    Staples understands that U.S. consumers and businesses across the country are in need of opportunities to recycle their electronic devices. By effectively marketing the Staples programs to consumers, Staples has provided current and future customers with a direct link between easy purchasing and easy recycling.

    Samsung Electronics, Winner, Cutting Edge

    Samsung is recognized for the Cadmium-free Quantum Dot ultra-high definition televisions, an industry first. The resulting TVs are free of cadmium – a hazardous heavy metal – and use less materials and energy than other HDTVs, with properties that allow for better light efficiency and improved durability.

    Cadmium has unique electrical, optical, and performance properties. Without the use of cadmium, the optical efficiency of a device is typically reduced. In order to make up for this, LED control circuitry usually must be added which increased the price as well as the energy consumption. Therefore, manufacturers pushed to have exemptions in environmental regulations to continue using cadmium in these types of applications. Samsung has overcome that technical difficulty by developing a new, more environmentally friendly approach in delivering better performance and value than the cadmium-containing devices. Samsung’s Quantum Dots are based on indium and (according to Samsung) are the only company that produces Cadmium-free Quantum Dot displays.

    To further the technology and expand the scientific impact, Samsung has brought together top academic and R&D institutions for the continued performance improvement of cadmium-free Quantum Dot material and application development. Most recently, in 2016, Samsung hosted a Quantum Dot forum and invited international scholars to share the innovation direction of Cd-free Quantum Dot technology. This has strengthened further their ties to the academic world and is helping them scale other green innovations.

  • 2015 Challenge Results

    In 2014, the efforts of the SMM Electronics Challenge participants resulted in the following achievements:

    • Diverted 224,263 metric tons of end-of-life electronics from the landfill;
    • Sent 223,743 metric tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers; and
    • Avoided the emission of more than 588,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2014.

    This increase is equal to any one of the following:

    • Taking over 112,000 passenger vehicles off of the road for one year;
    • Saving enough energy to power more than 73,000 U.S. homes for one year; or
    • The amount of carbon sequestered annually by more than 437,000 acres of U.S. forest.

    Tier Awards

    Electronics Challenge Tier Awards are given in recognition of achieving all the requirements under a Gold, Silver or Bronze Tier. Participants join at the level that best suits their organization, experience and ability. By meeting Tier requirements, participants receive Gold, Silver or Bronze award designations. We are pleased to recognize the following companies for their outstanding efforts in 2014 to advance the responsible management of used electronics through third-party certified recycling. The companies listed received the following Tier Awards.

    Active Participants Tier Award
    Best Buy Co., Inc. Gold
    Dell Inc. Gold
    LG Electronics USA, Inc. Gold
    Samsung Electronics Gold
    Sony Electronics Inc. Bronze
    Sprint Gold
    Staples, Inc. Gold

    Champion Awards

    Champion Awards are given to Electronics Challenge participants who demonstrate the highest level of vision, coalition-building, and execution of programs and policies related to responsible used electronics management. Electronics Challenge Participants must apply for Champion Awards, which are given in two categories: Product and Non-Product. For the purposes of the Champion Awards, a Product is an item that is manufactured, developed or refined for sale and is in the marketplace, while a Non-Product is an internal or external plan, strategy, or policy for an organization, as well as a service, program or item that is intended for individual sale to a consumer. EPA is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2015 Electronics Challenge Champion Awards:

    Company Champion Award
    Dell Inc. Non-product
    Samsung Electronics Product

    Details on the 2015 Award Winners

    Dell Inc., Winner, Non-Product Category

    Dell Inc. is recognized for its development of a closed loop program that uses plastics recovered from the Dell Reconnect recycling partnership with Goodwill in the U.S. to make new computers through the company’s manufacturing partner, Wistron. Wistron uses state-of-the-art technology to mix the recycled plastics with virgin materials that are then used for plastic parts in select Dell computers. This project is part of Dell’s long-term sustainability plan to achieve a waste-free packaging stream by 2020.

    Dell brought together worldwide recycling, logistics, and manufacturing partners for this program. Dell has partnered with Wistron to develop closed loop plastics, Goodwill to collect e-waste, YFY Jupiter to create wheat straw packaging, and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) to identify sustainable solutions for e-waste management. Using recycled resin is not always as easy as expected since recycled resin is not a direct substitute for a virgin resin. Dell set an ambitious goal to use 50 million pounds of recycled content and other sustainable materials in its products by the year 2020 and has recycled 11 million pounds of closed loop plastics in displays and OptiPlex desktops in 2014.

    By closing the loop for plastics, Dell achieved the following environmental benefits in 2014:

    • Avoided 198,776 kilograms of CO2 equivalent or about 500,000 miles driven by an average passenger car;
    • Reused 2.89 million pounds of materials taken from the e-waste stream;
    • Collected 230.9 million pounds of used electronics from residential and business programs globally; and
    • Reduced costs, as a result of lower logistics and operations costs of processing plastics from e-waste.

    Dell demonstrated that this program is replicable by other electronics manufacturers. Not only does it provide easy take-back solutions for consumers through Goodwill, but it also helps to create jobs for people in need of work. For every computer donated, 6.8 hours of job training are provided to Goodwill employees. Dell’s leadership extends to closing the digital divide by building positive e-scrap collection in Africa. For example, Dell finances a woman entrepreneur who employs 27 trained women to safely collect e-waste from local businesses and homes in Nairobi’s Mukuru informal settlement.

    Samsung Electronics, Winner, Product Category

    Samsung Electronics is recognized for its vision to make the Galaxy S6 mobile phone, its packaging, and its accessories meet high environmental standards while maintaining its status as a high-end product. Samsung has reduced the carbon emissions in each consecutive S Series phone by an annual average of 14%. This aggregates to 58 billion kg CO2 since 2011— the equivalent of planting 4.7 million trees. The S6’s environmental features are highlighted below:

    Packaging made with recycled materials

    While many of today’s electronics come in packaging made from non-recyclable plastics, Samsung found a simple solution to the problem by making 100% of its packaging from recycled cardboard, from the box to the user’s manual. This feature is anticipated to prevent the logging of 77,000 trees (based on 2014 sales numbers).

    Labels printed with soy ink

    Instead of using petroleum-based inks, Samsung uses soy-based inks in their packaging labels. Soy-based inks are:

    • Made from a renewable resource
    • Biodegradable
    • Easier to remove before recycling paper

    Battery chargers partially made of recycled plastic

    Samsung took an important stride by making the S6’s battery charger with 20 percent recycled plastic. Due to the research and development team’s perseverance and ingenuity, the charger’s durability was not compromised and Samsung was able to overcome an “engineering preference for virgin materials.”

    Features for longer life

    Samsung’s design team worked to overcome a hurdle in the battery capability of the phone that resulted in greater innovation and improved battery charging. The Galaxy S6 allows users to conserve power when they want by using the Power Saving Mode and Ultra Power Saving Mode, which disables most apps and changes screen colors to gray scale. Increasing the warranty to two years is also a clear signal to consumers that cell phones do not have to be replaced annually. Since the most common reason for replacing a mobile phone is a cracked screen from impact damage, Samsung used the new Gorilla Glass 4, which is more durable and resistant to scratches. This will further extend the life of the phone.

    Responsible End of Life Management

    Samsung’s Recycling Direct program ensures that waste processed will not be exported to developing countries, will not use forced child or prison labor in processing, and will not be dumped in municipal landfills. In addition to supporting a responsible network of recyclers, Samsung developed the Galaxy S6 with a recyclability rate of 99.9% and provides an online prepaid cell phone return option for customers to ship the phone back to Samsung for responsible recycling free of charge.

    Samsung achieved its vision by collaborating with a diverse group of internal and external stakeholders, and through a wide variety of approaches including forums, inquiries, surveys, advisory groups, and specialized internal communications departments that address the needs and expectations of each stakeholder.

  • 2014 Challenge Results

    In 2013, the efforts of the SMM Electronics Challenge participants resulted in the following achievements:

    • Diverted 221,192 metric tons of end-of-life electronics from the landfill;
    • Sent 220,531 metric tons of end-of-life electronics to third-party certified recyclers; and
    • Avoided more than 41,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2013 by increasing certified recycling by 15,588 metric tons, or 7.6 percent since 2012.

    This increase is equal to any one of the following:

    • Taking over 8,500 passenger vehicles off of the road for one year;
    • Saving enough energy to power more than 3,700 U.S. homes for one year; or
    • The amount of carbon sequestered annually by more than 33,500 acres of U.S. forest.

    Tier Awards

    Electronics Challenge Tier Awards are given in recognition of achieving all the requirements under a Gold, Silver or Bronze Tier. Participants join at the level that best suits their organization, experience and ability. By meeting Tier requirements, participants receive Gold, Silver or Bronze award designations. We are pleased to recognize the following companies for their outstanding efforts in 2013 to advance the responsible management of used electronics through third-party certified recycling. The companies listed received the following Tier Awards.

    Active Participants Tier Award
    Best Buy Co., Inc. Gold
    Dell Inc. Gold
    LG Electronics USA, Inc. Gold
    Panasonic Corporation of North America Gold
    Samsung Electronics Gold
    Sony Electronics Inc. Bronze
    Sprint Gold
    Staples, Inc. Gold

    Champion Awards

    Champion Awards are given to Electronics Challenge participants who demonstrate the highest level of vision, coalition-building, and execution of programs and policies related to responsible used electronics management. Electronics Challenge Participants must apply for Champion Awards, which are given in two categories: Product and Non-Product. For the purposes of the Champion Awards, a Product is an item that is manufactured, developed or refined for sale and is in the marketplace, while a Non-Product is an internal or external plan, strategy, or policy for an organization, as well as a service, program or item that is intended for individual sale to a consumer. EPA is pleased to announce the following recipients of the 2014 Electronics Challenge Champion Awards:

    Company Champion Award
    Best Buy Co., Inc. Non-product
    Dell Inc. Product
    Sprint Non-product
    Samsung Electronics

    Non-Product

    Honorable mention

    Details on the 2014 Award Winners

    Best Buy Co., Inc., Winner, Non-Product Category

    Best Buy Co., Inc. is recognized for the convenient collection and recycling services it provides to the general public as well as its internal and external communications strategies that led to a successful electronics recycling program.

    Best Buy's collection strategy includes both used consumer electronics - regardless of age, brand or where the device was originally purchased – and used consumer appliances. By offering free recycling at all 1,100 Best Buy retail locations, Best Buy offers convenience and accessibility for the American consumer. As of January 2014, Best Buy collected 909 million pounds of consumer goods, including 467 million pounds of used electronics.

    Best Buy also implements a number of internal and external communication efforts about the value of recycling. Best Buy trains and motivates employees through its Standard Operating Procedures and through a video entitled, "Why Best Buy Recycles." These programs ensure that all employees understand Best Buy's recycling program and can communicate it to its customers. The recent launch of the video "Why Best Buy Recycles" to the public has received more than 800,000 views to-date, indicating the message about the importance of recycling is being widely distributed. In addition, Best Buy's webpage not only makes it easy to find collection points, but also notes how much material was collected in each state.

    Best Buy's convenient and accessible recycling locations, internal and external communication efforts about the value of recycling, and comprehensive and successful recycling program are helping to ensure the responsible management of used electronics across the country.

    Dell Inc., Winner, Product Category

    Dell Inc. is recognized for its innovative use of wheat straw, a fast-growing renewable material, as a packaging material in the company's cardboard boxes, as well as its other efforts to achieve a waste-free packaging stream by 2020.

    Dell's use of wheat straw - which otherwise would be disposed of as a waste - as a sustainable packaging material that can be recycled as if it were composed entirely of paper-based corrugated cardboard. Dell also includes a video and information about wheat straw on its website, which allows consumers to understand the process, impacts, and recyclability of this material.

    The wheat straw project is one part of Dell's long-term sustainability plan to achieve a waste-free packaging stream by 2020. Other efforts include the use of bamboo cushions in place of foam for shipping lightweight products such as notebooks, and the use of mushrooms as an alternative to Styrofoam for heavier products such as servers.

    Together, the use of these sustainable packaging materials in Dell's products is helping to redefine electronics packaging in the U.S., bringing greater awareness to the consumer about the importance of considering all environmental impacts associated with their electronics purchase, including the packaging used to safely protect their device before it reaches the consumer.

    Sprint, Winner, Non-Product Category

    Sprint is recognized for its innovative and forward-thinking electronics stewardship policy, for bringing attention to the importance of electronics recycling by breaking the "Guinness Word Record" for the Most Cell Phones Recycled in One Week, and for its global efforts to promote the responsible management of used electronics.

    Sprint is the first telecom provider in the U.S. to publish an Electronics Stewardship policy addressing the full life cycle of the electronics it buys and sells, from design through end-of-life. Sprint has helped to drive industry efforts to develop a sustainable mobile devices standard that covers aspects ranging from material choices and energy use to end-of-life management. Sprint implemented an ambitious goal of collecting nine devices for reuse or recycling for every 10 sold annually by 2017, and is bringing attention to the importance of electronics recycling by breaking the "Guinness World Record" for the Most Cell Phones Recycled in One Week, collecting 103,582, which more than doubled the previous record.

    Sprint's efforts to promote the responsible management of used electronics globally include mentoring other wireless carriers around the world to increase the implementation of buy-back programs in other markets; using its leadership role as part of the CTIA, the Wireless Association, to champion the first industry-wide recycling goal; and helping to promote and fund the first-ever E-Waste Academy in Accra, Ghana.

    Sprint's innovative electronics stewardship policy, world-record for most cell phones recycled in one week, and global efforts to promote responsible electronics management, demonstrate that Sprint is a global leader in its field.

    Samsung Electronics, Honorable Mention, Non-Product Category

    Samsung Electronics is recognized as an Honorable Mention for its Samsung Recycling Direct e-waste recycling program, which has already recycled more than 300 million pounds of used electronics since its creation in 2008, and which continues to show increasing results. The Samsung Recycling Direct program goals include widespread support of recycling options for consumers, industry collaboration to create fair and cost-efficient operations, and best practices to drive responsible recycling.

    Samsung is helping consumers across the country recycle their electronics by offering collection in 50 states at more than 900 fixed locations, as well as a mail-back program through its website. Samsung works in conjunction with government agencies and NGO partners on e-waste solutions and transparency, and encourages other manufacturer programs to process more e-waste nationally by sharing best practices.

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