ByHaley Shapley

Jun 4, 2015

Those who buy one of LG’s LED TVs are likely drawn to the precise picture, vibrant color and slim design. What you might not notice at first glance are the mercury-free display panels, use of recycled and recyclable plastics, and smaller and lighter packaging.

These traits and more made LG Electronics Inc. the 2015 winner of the Design for Recycling Award, presented annually by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). The award was founded more than 25 years ago to recognize manufacturers proactively taking steps to consider recycling in their products and processes.

“This year, our DFR award committee had some tough choices to make, as they received nominations from several strong contenders,” said ISRI chair Doug Kramer as he presented the award at ISRI’s annual convention in Vancouver, B.C.

Dr. Nandhu Nandhakumar, senior vice president at the LG Technology Center of America, who accepted the award, says LG looks for ways to improve recyclability before they even begin developing a product, along with reducing product weight and volume. “Sustainability is a core business principle at LG Electronics, and we believe LG has a shared responsibility to protect the environment by reducing our environmental impact while enhancing the quality of life for consumers,” he said. “We call this ‘Innovation for a Better Life’ — developing innovative products with the environment in mind without sacrificing performance, style or value.”

Nominees are carefully vetted by a committee from ISRI. To be eligible for the Design for Recycling Award, a product must be designed or redesigned and manufactured to:

  • Contain the maximum amount of materials that are recyclable
  • Be easily recycled through current or newly designed recycling processes and procedures
  • Be cost effective to recycle whereby the cost to recycle does not exceed the value of its recycled materials
  • Be free of hazardous materials that are not recyclable or impede the recycling process
  • Minimize the time and cost involved to recycle the product
  • Reduce the use of raw materials by including recycled materials and/or components
  • Have a net gain in the overall recyclability of the product while reducing the overall negative impact on the environment

Last year’s Design for Recycling award winner was Dell Inc., which was honored for its Latitude 10 tablet, Latitude XPS 10 tablet and Latitude E7240 laptop. Previous winners have included Cascades Fine Papers Group, Coca-Cola Recycling Company and Hewlett-Packard.

Feature image: ISRI Chairman Doug Kramer (left) presents the 2015 Design for Recycling Award to Dr. Nandhu Nandhakumar, senior vice president, LG Technology Center of America, and Jane Kang, head of product stewardship, LG Electronics USA. (PRNewsFoto/LG Electronics USA)

By Haley Shapley

Haley Shapley is based in Seattle, where recycling is just as cool as Macklemore, walking in the rain without an umbrella, and eating locally sourced food. She writes for a wide range of publications, covering everything from sustainability to fitness to travel. Read more of her work here.