As an admirer of Sony, a consumer of its products and a reporter who has followed the career of its chief executive, Sir Howard Stringer, for many years, I was pleased to hear last week that the company had taken the lead in the consumer electronics industry on the issue of producer responsibility. Sony announced a plan to offer free recycling of all its products.
This is a big deal. We need to change our throwaway culture into one in which most of what we consume or buy is eventually reused or recycled, with the materials made into something else. For that to happen, companies have to take responsibility for the things they make over their full lifecycle. Then, the theory goes, they will learn to make them differently, so that they can be easily disassembled and recycled. As I’ve written before, the goal here is not to reduce waste but to eliminate the very idea of waste, so we become a “zero waste” society.
Today’s CNNMoney.com column looks at Sony’s decision. Here’s how it begins:
The company that invented the CD, the Walkman and the PlayStation will soon become an environmental pioneer, too: Sony says it will offer free recycling of all its products in the United States.
Last week’s surprise announcement from the global electronics giant — Sony posted $71 billion in 2006 revenues – could have a big impact. It pressures other companies to take back and recycle TV sets, stereos, music players, laptops, DVD players, video game machines, cameras and other electronic waste.
“This represents a challenge to the rest of the industry,” says Mark Small, who is vice president of environment, safety and health for Sony Electronics.
You can read the rest here.