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Furthering Industry Sustainability and Green Initiatives

Consumer Electronics and Being Green

We all have a stake in finding solutions for climate change and diminishing natural resources. Our global economy is also a global eco-system, and it's never been more important to share the responsibility of preserving our planet.

That's why the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is proud to highlight the CEA 2013 Sustainability Report illustrating the industry's progress in pushing green initiatives. The report also provides transparency on the consumer electronics industry's sustainability practices.

While the report illustrates creative strides toward the goal of sustainability, there is still much more to be done. Learn more about the industry's recycling and energy efficiency efforts and how you can get involved.

Below you can find numerous recent studies and initiatives on sustainability:

  • CEA, along with the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc. (ISRI) and InnoCentive announced a second CRT Challenge on April 1, 2013 to identify financially viable, environmentally-conscious proposals for using recycled cathode ray tube (CRT) glass.
    • Dr. Thomas Engelhardt was the winner of the CRT Challenge. His solution is to use the leaded CRT glass in the vitrification of nuclear waste. Vitrification is a mature technology that has been used for more than 40 years. It involves the melting of waste material with glass-forming additives so that the final glassy product immobilizes the waste material, trapping the lead and the other elements in the glass. The Environmental Protection Agency has declared vitrification to be the “best demonstrated available technology” for heavy metals and high-level radioactive waste. 
  • Sustainable Consumer Electronics Technology Demo- Albany, NY, June 12, 2013.

CEA operates - an online resource for consumers that highlights the industry trend toward "greener gadgets" -- smaller, smarter, more energy efficient devices that can do more than ever before. Tech-savvy shoppers now have more eco-friendly options and this resource has valuable information about how to buy green electronics, use them efficiently and recycle them at the end of their useful life.

The site also features a powerful energy use calculator with the most up-to-date products and energy use figures to help consumers better understand their energy usage and a recycling locator tool. When it comes to end-of-life electronics many people are concerned with what happens after they drop off their products. The recycling locator database includes industry programs, which use strict standards, and third-party certified recyclers, so rest assured your device will be safely recycled!


Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Sustainability

Vice President, Technology Policy

Sr. Manager, Environmental Policy and Sustainability

Coordinator, Policy Communications


  • April 8, 2014 – CEA in conjunction with industry associations AHAM, AHRI, and NEMA filed a joint letter of opposition regarding toxics bill S. 239 due to the legislation’s broad scope and possible significant economic consequences to the CE industry. The bill has since been amended to reduce the scope from consumer products to children’s products, and excludes consumer electronics, similar to the Washington State program. Several members in legislature are opposed to the amendments and have stated they will introduce additional broader legislation to cover toxic chemicals in consumer products next session.  S. 239 is expected to pass prior to the close of session on May 9.
  • February 26, 2014  PR News celebrated the winners of its 2014 Nonprofit PR Awards on February 26 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. In the “Green PR/Marketing” category, CEA won for its campaign supporting energy efficiency and electronics recycling, a campaign that drew 31 media hits, over 250,000 unique visitors to the site and over 650,000 page views. In the “Annual Publication or Brochure” category, CEA won for its 2013 Sustainability Report, which summarized green and sustainable practices in the consumer electronics industry and exceeded the organization’s goals for earned media and distribution.
  • January 2014  CEA launched a new public service announcement on the importance of electronics recycling, distributing it to more than 200 TV stations across the country. CEA's radio PSA in 2012 was heard by more than 78 million listeners and drove considerable traffic to CEA’s recycling locator tool. The PSA is being shared with state e-waste agencies and legislators in key states as part of CEA’s legislative advocacy efforts. 
  • January 8, 2014 – CEA CEO and President Gary Shapiro helped flip the switch to turn the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign to solar power. Continuing the CEA tradition to award local Las Vegas organizations with funds for sustainability projects in conjunction with CES, CEA provided the funding to Green Chips, a unique public/private partnership to encourage environmental sustainability initiatives in Southern Nevada. Other project partners included the Clean Energy Project nonprofit organization, electric utility NV Energy, the Las Vegas Centennial Commission and Bombard Renewable Energy.
  • December 4, 2013  CEA in partnership with ENERGY STAR hosted a green holiday Twitter chat. The chat focused on energy efficiency and ecycling during the holidays, and had over 55 active participants. The hashtag for the chat, #CEAGreen, began to trend nationally on Twitter during the chat as it was used nearly one thousand times in one hour, making it one of the most successful CEA Twitter chats to date. Our partners RecycleBank and ENERGY STAR were great contributors, and the knowledge shared was useful to all participants. One lucky participant chosen at random won an ENERGY STAR- certified Polk Audio Surroundbar.
  • November 2013  CEA launched a new educational initiative on ecycling by creating outreach tools for use in 4th to 6th grade classes in several key states. The lesson plans are available for free online and were distributed in hard copy to over 10 thousand schools in partnership with Young Minds Inspired.  The lessons teach students how ecycling can help reduce the environmental impact of their technology choices and promote a more sustainable future. Students learn to create an ecycling action plan for their family and launch a campaign to encourage electronics recycling in their community.