Over 50 years ago, on April 22, 1970, the first celebration of Earth Day took place. More than 20 million Americans gathered to celebrate a day that would mark the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement.
Hugh Cherne was in the crowd that day, and at the time didn’t know the profound impact it would have on his future career or that it would lead him to Best Buy. Now the company’s associate director of sustainability, the day lives on in Hugh’s memory as one that helped shape him into who he is today. It was then that Hugh’s passion for protecting the environment began.
Since joining Best Buy in 2000, Hugh has played a large role in helping the sustainability team set and achieve ambitious goals for the company. As a leader in the space, he has helped reduce our carbon emissions by 62% since 2009 and co-led on our Water Stewardship Action Committee, reducing water usage significantly across the company. He also played a role in Best Buy signing The Climate Pledge, a commitment to be carbon neutral by 2040.
Earlier this year, Hugh was named a First Movers Fellow by the Aspen Institute Business and Society Program, a program for accomplished innovators inside companies who are creating new products, services and management practices that increase business value and make the world a better place.
“I feel extremely honored to have been selected for this program that pushed me to think outside the box,” said Hugh. “It was an amazing opportunity to come together with other leaders across the sustainability and social impact space, all of whom are committed to driving meaningful and lasting change.”
During his time in the prestigious program, Hugh was focused on thinking of new ways to make sustainable tech more accessible, especially as it relates to underserved communities, ensuring that everyone has the access and capability to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
“This program and the work I get to do at Best Buy aims to create the future we all want,” said Hugh. “With the complex impacts arising from climate change, we have to collectively come together to design solutions that enable a world that is more resilient, prosperous, equitable and sustainable.”
Best Buy has a long history of prioritizing sustainability efforts across the country. Through initiatives that include recycling more than 2.5 billion pounds of electronics and appliances to offering ENERGY STAR® certified products to help customers reduce their carbon emissions, we proudly continue our journey to building a more sustainable future.
To learn more about Best Buy’s sustainability efforts, click here.