Best Buy President and CEO Hubert Joly this week encouraged the retail industry to make a commitment to sustainability fundamental to their very businesses. In a presentation to attendees of the national Retail Sustainability Conference on Tuesday in Minneapolis, he stressed that, “sustainability must be an essential element of everything the company does.”
Joly backed up his conviction with evidence of Best Buy’s own sustainability initiatives on behalf of the industry, consumers and local communities.
Technology is one of the fastest growing waste streams on the planet, and Best Buy began searching for a solution to this global challenge more than a decade ago. In June, the company achieved a goal to recycle 1 billion pounds of consumer electronics and appliances. And just last month, Best Buy announced that it would recycle an additional 2 billion pounds by 2020, while also reducing carbon emissions by 20 percent. Today, a broad range of consumer recyclables – from rechargeable batteries to tube TVs – are collected at all Best Buy stores at no cost to the customers who bring them in.
Best Buy also extends its emphasis on sustainability to the private label products it creates and manufactures under brand names like Insignia. For example, small and mid-size TVs were recently re-designed to move the power source from inside the back panel to an external power brick. This not only reduced the cost of the plastic casing, but saved 56 tons of flame retardant chemicals – without compromising safety.