People around the world recognize April as Earth Month, and I, too, find myself contemplating the importance of corporate citizenship and environmental stewardship even more than usual this time of year.
With the numerous sustainability challenges facing our planet, it’s easy to feel like your efforts don’t matter. However, building upon the theme of HARMAN’s 2018 Sustainability Report, ValUes & VelocIty, it becomes clear that “U” and “I” are critical to the Earth’s welfare. HARMAN continues to address global, systemic and programmatic change within our internal and external supply partner operations, but the resulting change would not happen without dedication from all of us – you and I.
Many of us strive to live by the reliable “reduce, reuse, recycle” motto, but that’s often easier said than done, particularly when it comes to repurposing or retiring complex technology that may contain harmful chemicals and non-biodegradable materials.
Another reason people don’t recycle electronic waste – or e-cycle – more often is because they’re wary of having their personal data compromised. However, the threat of personally identifiable information getting into the wrong hands is eliminated when devices are wiped using robust security practices designed to protect the information. For instance, HARMAN’s global technology hubs destroy sensitive data on all personal devices before recycling or refurbishing the electronics, protecting our triple bottom line: people, planet and profit.
While important, these precautions are becoming less necessary as cutting-edge cloud solutions begin to take the place of the many jump drives and external hard drives that take up so much physical space – both while they’re in use and after they’ve been discarded. In fact, HARMAN is moving to from our current data center structure to the Amazon cloud. Minimization of these data centers will result in reduction of Kilowatt-hours resulting in significant cost savings. There are also different ways companies can simultaneously improve their carbon footprint and save money such as reducing corporate travel by leveraging
video conference tools and other electronic communication technologies.
To prove the combined power of individuals and organizations to drive change, HARMAN is celebrating Earth Week in a fresh way for the first time this year by introducing an E-Waste Recycling event. If each HARMAN employee brings in just five pounds or five items, we could easily collect 75 tons of e-waste that will be recycled – or repurposed to people in need – instead of making its way into landfills. This is a very attainable goal. In fact, I look inside my own desk and can easily spot numerous electronic items that are no longer used and should be repurposed or recycled. To that end, I am personally pledging to bring in 10 pounds of items for proper disposal.
HARMAN’s commitment to global purpose and sustainability extends beyond our employees to encompass our wide-ranging global networks of suppliers as well. That’s why we are inviting our suppliers to leverage HARMAN resources for recycling their e-waste and encouraging location facility managers to participate in this enriching recycling initiative by conducting a comprehensive sweep of their locations and collecting old devices, speakers and technology.
You can help by bringing used e-waste – such as old cell phones, batteries, cameras and laptops – to one of HARMAN’s 11 global technology hubs where they will be properly recycled and/or donated to local organizations like afterschool programs and libraries. The challenge begins on Monday, April 22nd – which also happens to be Earth Day – and continues through the end of the month. A list of accepted items and drop off locations is below.
Remember, as esteemed businessperson Warren Buffet once said, “It is not necessary to do extraordinary things to get extraordinary results.” I hope you’ll join us by participating in HARMAN’s e-waste recycling action and pledging to safeguard the wellbeing of our planet.
By David Slump, Executive Vice President of Operations at HARMAN
ACCEPTED ITEMS: PERSONAL COMPUTER LAPTOPS, DIGITAL VIDEO CAMERAS, PADS / NOTEBOOKS, READERS (KINDLE) VCR & DVD PLAYERS, MICE, CABLES, BATTERIES, CELL PHONES, LANDLINE PHONES, DIGITAL STILL CAMERAS, ANSWERING MACHINES, CAMERAS, RADIOS, MP3 OR CD PLAYERS, CD-ROM DRIVES, DOCKING STATIONS, SCANNERS, POWER SUPPLIES, POWER CORDS, STEREOS, SPEAKERS, FLOPPY DISKS, CDS (expansive list available at hubs)
NOT ACCEPTED ITEMS: CAR BATTERIES, PAINT CANS, AEROSOL CANS, PLASTICS BOTTLES, MEDICAL, EQUIPMENT, CONSOLE (FURNITURE) TVS
DigITal Hub Sites: Novi, MI; Stamford, CT; Northridge, CA; Richardson, TX; Lodz, Poland; Karlsbad & Garching Germany; China; India Bangalore Campus & Eminence https://work.harman.com/Functions/IT/Hotspot/SitePages/Home.aspx