Samsung Electronics has announced that it has received two awards for its sustainability initiatives by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA awarded Samsung with the 2017 Cutting Edge Champion Award for its innovative Galaxy Upcycling program, and honored the company’s U.S. e-waste collection efforts with the Gold Tier Award for the fourth consecutive year.
The Galaxy Upcycling program allows Galaxy phone owners to retrofit the hardware and software of antiquated, used Galaxy phones into new technology products such as closed circuit TVs, gaming consoles, and IoT devices. The program puts the tools for transforming devices into new technology in consumers’ hands by providing them with necessary software changes and suggested hardware changes that enable new functionality. The program was created from the company’s innovation hub, C-Lab; and will launch in 2018. The Cutting Edge Champion Award was presented to Samsung for the Galaxy Upcycling program’s innovative and environmentally responsible ways to use a product’s materials throughout its entire life cycle. Samsung has been the exclusive honoree of the Cutting Edge Champion Award since the award’s inception in 2017.
“In an effort to curb e-waste and extend the lifecycle of our existing technology, we introduced the Galaxy Upcycling program which repurposes technology resources into new devices,” said Michael Lawder, Senior Vice President of Customer Care at Samsung Electronics America. “We’re honored to receive the Cutting Edge Champion Award for this program and our efforts to extend a products’ life-cycle by repurposing its functionality.”
The second distinction was given to Samsung for the company’s long-term commitment to the proper recycling of e-waste in the U.S. In 2016, the company’s electronics recycling program collected and responsibly recycled over 118 million pounds of e-waste in the U.S., which made it one of the world’s biggest collectors of e-waste. Samsung is being recognized in this category for the fourth year in a row.
“Samsung’s creative reinvention of old electronics through their unique upcycling program is environmental ingenuity at its finest,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “I commend Samsung for their innovative efforts to turn old smartphones into new technology products, and I encourage others to follow their lead.”
The awards were presented in Las Vegas at a ceremony during CES 2018.