Recycling Program Contributes to Supply Chain Sustainability
|Ashley Ramirez | GO Green Coordinator
Cold Chain Digital Solutions at Emerson
Throughout the perishable food supply chain, environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives are driving companies to implement more sustainable practices in all aspects of their operations. Often, this means uncovering issues with existing processes and selecting preferred business partners that help to support a greener supply chain. Emerson is committed to being such a partner.
For customers that use our GO real-time loggers and trackers to monitor the temperature and location of their perishable shipments, we offer a full-service, easy-to-use and free product recycling program called GO GreenSense™. Although efforts to improve sustainability are now considered standard business practices for many companies, our GO GreenSense recycling program has been operational for nearly a decade.
Since most GO real-time loggers and trackers are intended for one-time use, the GO GreenSense program was designed to recover reusable materials from undamaged devices — such as plastic shells, and electronic components — and either recycle them in new products or dispose of them properly in an environmentally friendly fashion.
Why going green matters
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lithium-ion batteries and devices containing these batteries should not be disposed of in household garbage or recycling bins. Instead, they should be taken to a certified battery recycling facility or some other household hazardous waste collection point.
Because lithium-ion batteries have a high energy density in a relatively small physical profile, they have become commonplace in modern electronic devices, including Emerson’s GO real-time trackers. These batteries are composed of critical raw materials — such as cobalt, graphite and lithium — which are considered both economically and strategically valuable resources. But when these batteries are disposed of in the trash, those resources are squandered.
What’s more, if a battery or its containing device is disposed of in the trash or placed in a municipal recycling bin along with other household recyclables such as plastic, paper or glass, it may become damaged. Therefore, lithium-ion batteries should be recycled only at certified battery electronics recyclers.
Since the mass production of plastics began six decades ago, 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic have been produced. According to a study conducted by National Geographic, most plastic materials end up as trash. A few of the study’s eye-opening conclusions include:
- Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade
- Only 12 percent of total plastics produced have been incinerated
- 91 percent of all global plastic are not recycled
- More than 40 percent of plastics are used only once
How GO GreenSense works
Emerson implemented the GO GreenSense recycling program to help facilitate the free and easy return of GO real-time tracker and logger products for proper battery and component recycling. For interested customers, we provide eco-friendly return boxes and the appropriate pre-paid postage labels. Customers can then simply place units in a return box and ship them back to Emerson.
Since GO real-time trackers use lithium-ion batteries, we provide Emerson-branded return boxes that have a “Lithium-ion battery” warning label pre-printed on them. Returned trackers are shipped via FedEx to minimize the potential for damage to the lithium-ion battery during shipping. Simply place the GO real-time trackers and the return form in each box, attach the pre-paid label, and ship via FedEx.
GO real-time loggers use lithium coin batteries that contain less than 0.1 grams of lithium metal per cell. Thus, they can be sent via USPS without the need for a warning label. Simply complete the logger return form, place in provided box with pre-paid shipping label and follow the standard USPS shipping conventions.
Upon receipt, Emerson inspects each returned device and then processes any recyclable components. Emerson hopes to be able to recycle more than 2 million devices this year.
To learn more about GO GreenSense and participate in our GO real-time tracker and logger recycling program, simply contact Emerson Cargo Solutions at +1 877 998 7299 or email us at GoGreen@Emerson.com. We look forward to helping you shrink your carbon footprint by easily recycling your temperature monitoring and tracking devices.