Smith & Associates Continues Push Toward Environmental Sustainability: named "e-Stewards Enterprise" by Basel Action Network
Global e-waste crisis underscores importance of corporate commitment toward environmental best practices
HOUSTON, TX – December 6, 2011 – Smith & Associates, a leader in the independent distribution of semiconductors and electronic components, today announced it has been named an "e-Stewards Enterprise" by the Basel Action Network, the world’s only organization focused on confronting the global environmental injustice and economic inefficiency of toxic trade (toxic wastes, products and technologies) and its devastating impacts. The certification further demonstrates Smith & Associates' ongoing commitment to becoming a fully sustainable worldwide organization and an industry leader in implementing solutions addressing pervasive global environmental problems including e-waste.
As an e-Stewards Enterprise, Smith & Associates agrees to always make best efforts to work with e-Stewards Recyclers, ensuring that Smith & Associates' e-waste does not contribute to the global toxic waste crisis. E-Stewards Recyclers undergo a professional audit every year to guarantee they do not export hazardous recycling byproducts to developing countries, use U.S. prison labor, or dump in municipal landfills. E-Stewards recyclers also ensure that private data is kept secure, and that their operations protect both workers and the environment.
Massive Scale of Global E-waste Problem
E-waste has evolved into a growing global environmental challenge with profound and long-lasting repercussions on the environment. Governments from around the world, including U.S. environmental policies, have been slow to address the issue. With the mass proliferation of desktop computers, laptops and smart phones flooding the market, e-waste is now the fastest growing part of the U.S. garbage stream. According to Time Magazine, Americans throw out more than 350,000 cell phones and 130,000 computers every day. Improperly disposed of, the lead, mercury and other toxic materials inside e-waste can leak from landfills and pollute communities.
Environmental Leadership Stems from a Strong Corporate Culture
Smith & Associates has been aggressively implementing a strong corporate culture whereby environmental sustainability is a key focus of a larger commitment toward "green" practices. Smith & Associates has partnered with companies including ONTILITY and Solar Community to enable its Houston-based corporate headquarters to become a prime example of green innovation, including:
- Installation of a "cool roof" and solar TPO poly roof system which saves non-renewable resources and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
- Solar installation includes 140kW of renewable energy generated by a solar photovoltaic (PV) system located on the roof and parking structure, plus a solar thermal system for producing hot water.
- LED and more energy-efficient metal halide lights have been installed to reduce energy and increase lighting efficiency for all exterior light fixtures and poles, including entrance and ground lighting.
Commitment Toward Sustainability
"Being recognized by the Basel Action Network as an e-Stewards enterprise is a clear validation of our greater commitment toward becoming a fully sustainable global organization," said Bob Ackerley, Chief Executive Officer at Smith & Associates. "Earlier this year, we opened our facility to our local and international partners to celebrate the physical transformation of our Houston headquarters into a sustainable facility. Heading into 2012 and beyond, Smith & Associates will continue to place a very high priority on taking every step possible from a financial and cultural perspective to ensure our organization reduces e-waste. As a company, we are taking a firm stand to only engage in business practices which are aligned with environmental sustainability."
“At this pivotal moment in the worldwide e-waste crisis, Smith & Associates joins a growing number of business, academic and governmental leaders taking action to stem a toxic tide,” said Jim Puckett, Executive Director of the Basel Action Network, creator of the e-Stewards program.
Greater Business Community Collaborating to Reduce E-Waste
Smith & Associates recognizes that a collaborative effort will reap greater environmental rewards. Strategic partnerships with Ontility and SolarCommunity have yielded significant reductions in e-waste and the conservation of valuable energy resources in 2011; Smith & Associates will continue to implement additional changes to ensure it can reach its goal of becoming a 100 percent fully sustainable organization.
“Principled and practical certifications programs like e-Stewards are among the best tools in our global sustainability toolbox,” said Frances Beinecke, Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Today, Smith & Associates has thrown its hat into a new arena of increasing importance – electronic product and waste stewardship.”
Adds Barbara Kyle, Executive Director of the Electronics TakeBack Coalition: “This is a real milestone for Smith & Associates and the entire business community. By rewarding industry leaders for such real progress, we can make significant progress toward greening our beleaguered planet.”
About Smith & Associates
Founded in Houston in 1984, Smith & Associates (www.smithweb.com) is a leader in the independent distribution of semiconductors and electronic components to electronics and high-tech manufacturers. Smith offers shortage sourcing for commodity and obsolete parts, innovative purchasing and inventory management solutions, redistribution of excess inventory, and component stocking for warranty and repair programs.
A privately held company, Smith & Associates employs more than 300 people worldwide, with annual revenue in excess of US$400 million. Smith's regional hubs in Houston, Hong Kong and Amsterdam are ISO certified and IDEA compliant. In addition, sales and purchasing offices are located in Silicon Valley, Barcelona, Guadalajara, New York, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, and Denver. For more information or to reach a Smith representative 24 hours a day, please call: 1.800.HOUSTON or +1 713.430.3000
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