2019 Presidential Award

Environmental Sustainability

The workgroup develops strategies and tools to improve the measurement of environmental impact, improve resource efficiency, and build industry capacity and performance.

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Bob Mitchell, Vice President

As one of the five pillars of RBA’s Code of Conduct, environmental sustainability is a core component of many RBA members’ CSR programs. It is the environmental mission of the RBA to ensure that its members and their suppliers are prepared to address an increasingly diverse and sensitive array of challenges around environmental performance, compliance and efficiency within electronics-based industries. With the ability to engage companies throughout supply chains, the RBA is uniquely positioned to drive environmentally sustainable progress.

The RBA’s Environmental Sustainability Workgroup (ESWG) convenes members to identify pressing environmental issues in climate change, water and waste, and collaborate on solutions that drive improvement not only within their organizations, but throughout their supply chains. The workgroup develops strategies and tools to improve the measurement of environmental impact, improve resource efficiency, and build industry capacity and performance.

Some of the resources and programs developed by and available to RBA members include:

Environmental Survey: In a landscape full of environmental metrics and surveys, the RBA has created an Environmental Survey targeted to develop suppliers’ capacity to measure and report on simple environmental metrics. The Survey collects basic data on greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water withdrawal, and waste generation, as well as qualitative data on their respective reduction targets and efforts. The survey questions are designed to align with major environmental reporting schemas, like the CDP and GHG Protocol, to build supplier familiarity and capacity. The RBA Environmental Survey, housed in RBA Online, allows suppliers to report to multiple RBA members through a single submission.

Environmental Maturity Framework: This framework helps determine suppliers’ environmental maturity and capacity to meet increasingly stringent environmental performance standards, based on suppliers’ systems and governance, resiliency to disruption, and adaptive capacity. By identifying the capability of a supplier, the RBA is able to provide a tailored resource pathway that builds capacity for specific programmatic elements, instead of broad “one-size-fits-all” trainings. The Environmental Maturity Framework is still in development, but has undergone multiple pilots, and will be launched soon.

Environmental Resources and Trainings: The RBA provides several environmental trainings though the e-Learning Academy that focuses on developing environmental programs and meeting the Code of Conduct requirements. The RBA is also developing an Environmental Resource Framework which, when launched with the Environmental Maturity Framework, will create tailored resource pathways for suppliers based on their current capacity and programmatic needs.

E-Waste Resources: The RBA has supported members’ efforts by providing insights into e-waste generation and providing an e-waste framework that fosters dialogue and development within their organizations. The RBA has also created an E-Waste Taskforce for members interested in creating greater efficiencies and assurance in e-waste recycling.

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