Call it making the best of a bad situation.
Despite tremendous upheaval with tech retailer Best Buy, the troubled company has managed to find firm environmental footing amid the storm.
The company’s stock may be down by 25 percent since the beginning of 2012; Best Buy founder Richard Schulze may have stepped down as chairman for withholding a CEO scandal from the company’s board; and if that wasn’t enough, the company has cut 50 stores, laid off 400 people at its headquarters and is considering going private.
But…the turmoil has left plenty of room for Leo Raudys, Best Buy’s senior director of environmental sustainability, to set some lofty goals.
“…we're making great progress streamlining our business and conserving resources in the communities we serve,” Raudys said in an October 9, 2012 statement to media.
First off, Best Buy has promised to reduce its carbon footprint by 20 per cent as of 2020. Raudys called the goal “a key driver for operational efficiency”.
This goal becomes a lot more realistic in the context of Best Buy’s store design and energy efficiency, which have saved the company some $60 million since 2009 (the company was founded in 1983). New store designs include skylights, dimmable lights and efficient heating and cooling systems that require little in the way of additional upfront investment.
As for carbon reductions, the Carbon Disclosure Project ranks Best Buy among its top leaders, both when it comes to disclosure (BBY scored 97 out of 100) and actual reductions.
Second, Best Buy has said it wants to recycle 1 billion pounds of consumer goods by 2014. Neither of Best Buy’s biggest competitors — Walmart and Amazon — offer free electronics recycling, and Best Buy’s recycling model is actually turning a profit. It doesn’t even matter if you purchased the product from Best Buy. The company still accepts ccepts inkjet cartridges, rechargeable batteries, gift cards, televisions, DVD players, computer monitors, audio and video cables, cell phones and other devices.
Since 2009, more than 25 million pounds of in-store take backs (ISTBs) have been returned to the Best Buy's 1,044 locations.
In recent weeks, Best Buy announced that all of its e-waste handlers would have to meet the e-Stewards standard, a program developed by environmentalists including the Basel Action Network, a watchdog group. Basel Action Network applauded the move, calling it a demonstration of “real leadership.”
Best Buy’s subsidiaries include CinemaNow, Geek Squad, Magnolia Audio Video, Pacific Sales, and, in Canada operates under both the Best Buy and Future Shop label. Together these companies operate more than 1,150 stores, domestically and internationally
On August 20, 2012, it was announced that Hubert Joly would be the full time CEO replacing Interim CEO G. Mike Mikan effective September 2012. Former CEO Brian Dunn resigned in April 2012.
Learn more about Best Buy’s sustainability practices here http://www.sustainability.bby.com/