December 13, 2010

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Anyone who watched the television show “Seinfeld” probably remembers the episode in which Jerry tried to pick up a car he had rented, only to discover that the company had not held the vehicle for him. “See, you know how to take the reservation,” he told the rental agent in frustration. “You just don't know how to hold the reservation, and that's really the most important part of the reservation … the holding.”

When I think of this scene, it reminds me of the ability of modern enterprises to uphold “green” initiatives in the corporate world of cost cutting and quick decision making. Any company can claim to be green. But when you take a closer look at company practices, things are not always what they seem. This is especially problematic when the company’s line of work is helping other enterprises properly dispose of their retired IT assets.

How often do we read about sham recyclers … those that claim to be environmentally friendly but ultimately send e-waste to developing countries? It is much easier to fill up a container and ship IT assets to another country than to take the numerous and costly steps to ensure that equipment is properly recycled in the United States. Some of the latest headlines demonstrate that even the companies that are trying to be green can still be tempted to take dangerous “shortcuts.”

Being green takes a serious commitment. It is not a label to use when it is convenient and ignore when it is not. A commitment to the environment and sustainability must be inherent in the company’s idealistic mission and concrete processes. It can mean that your costs are higher and your business processes more complicated. For Converge, it means that we hold ourselves accountable to a strict no-landfill, no-e-waste-export policy. Every employee and downstream partner knows about our environmental commitment and understands that we take no shortcuts. Every vendor is strictly vetted and regularly audited to ensure that they are handling e-waste the correct way. It isn’t easy, but it’s the right thing to do.

At Converge, we do all the legwork so our customers don’t have to worry about a thing. Whether they want to remarket, redeploy, or donate end-of-life IT assets, we help them make the best decision. And when IT equipment has no residual value, we make certain that every asset is properly recycled so that none of it ends up in a landfill or overseas. Our customers are able to uphold their green promises, often returning money to their bottom line in the process … and we are all able to feel good about what we are doing to protect this world that our grandchildren stand to inherit.

This is why I am excited to announce that Converge has been named a 2010 Green Supply Award winner by Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine. We have been recognized for our ability to help global enterprises identify the best strategies for end-of-life IT assets and at the same time meet their sustainability goals. Unfortunately, this recognition probably won’t be written about in major newspapers, but it is certainly news worth sharing. And it is an accomplishment to be proud of.

After all, as a famous Muppet once said, “It’s not easy being green.” We couldn’t agree more. But it is easy to ask Converge to do the hard work for you. It’s what we do. And we love it.

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