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LG Shines Green with CarbonFree Products

Company also takes responsible recycling lead with e-Stewards designation.

LG's 'carbon-free' certified products

Consumer electronics and appliance giant LG has made a commitment to “become the most sustainable consumer products company in the world,” in the words of Wayne Park, president and CEO of LG Electronics USA.

LG is living up to that promise by becoming the first first “Global e-Stewards Enterprise” committed to responsible recycling of its electronic waste as well as receiving the first CarbonFree certifications of six appliances and consumer electronics products.

The six CarbonFree LG products include the 42-inch 42LV5500-UA LCD TV; D2770P LED LCD monitor; GR-L318LSJP 3-door refrigerator; LG TROMM WM3875H front-loading washer; LB08D827L0A.BASIS LED lamp; and LG260S1C, LG255S1C, LG250S1C, LG245S1C solar panels. They will be available in the United States in early 2012. The LCD TV, monitor, washing machine and refrigerator also will earn Energy Star designations as energy efficient products. Though some of these models are available today, they will be rebadged as CarbonFree in 2012.

To receive a CarbonFree certification, the products undergo a life cycle analysis (LCA) to determine their carbon footprints from raw material extraction and production to use and disposal. Then companies purchase offsets in reforestation, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects sponsored by Carbonfund.org Foundation. CarbonFree Certification is done by a third-party certification process. Products include Motorola phones, Domino sugar, Intek paper shredders, LEI Electronics batteries, Monarch Beverages, and Nika Water. You can see a list of products here.

“We’re looking at products from cradle to grave,” says LG’s John Taylor. “Sustainable design, greenhouse gas emissions in manufacturing and distribution processss, energy efficiency over the lifetime of the product and recyclability are all factored into LCA process.”

The LED computer monitor, for example, achieves EPEAT Gold status for factors including reduction of hazardous substances like cadmium, mercury, lead, hexavalent chromium and PVC consistent with RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) requirements in Europe and other parts of the world.

Taylor says to look for more products meeting stricter environmental standards from LG. “The CarbonFree label is a new way for environmentally conscious consumer to identify products that fit their lifestyle.”

No Exporting Waste

By becoming an e-Stewards Enterprise, LG will give preference to electronics recyclers that meet and are certified to the “e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment.”

The international standard, developed by the Basel Action Network (BAN), with the advice of industry leaders and health and environmental specialists, is a certification program for electronics recyclers that prevents the export and dumping of toxic electronic waste in developing countries. Many discarded electronics are exported to developing countries where they are disassembled unsafely, burned in pits and result in severe hazards to human heath and the environment.

The standard also calls for strict protection of private data and occupational health safeguards to ensure workers in recycling plants are not exposed to toxic dusts.

Currently, there are e-Stewards Recyclers in the United States, Mexico and the U.K., with several in progress in Canada.

The LG Electronics Recycling Program provides consumers with a responsible way to dispose of used, unwanted, obsolete or damaged consumer electronics products. In 2010, LG recycled more than 8 million pounds of home electronic products in the United States, free of charge to consumers.

Last week Dell, Sprint and Sony Electronics signed agreements with the EPA to encourage certified recycling, protect public health, and support best practices in electronics stewardship, in conjunction with “A National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship” put forth by the EPA and other agencies.

However, BAN announced that it was “very disappointed” with the U.S. government’s plan. “Sadly, this report is a living contradiction,” said Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network. “On the one hand it claims to promote responsible recycling and job creation here in the U.S., but then does nothing to prevent e-waste exporting, which squanders our critical metals resources, and poisons children abroad while exporting good recycling jobs from our country. This report shows why we need Congress to pass the ,a href="http://www.electronichouse.com/article/e-waste_bill_before_congress/">Responsible Electronics Recycling Act, now under consideration in both the Senate and Congress, to truly address this issue.”

Article courtesy of ElectronicHouse.com


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