Another Consumer Technology Show (CES) in the books! This year’s show was significant on several levels. Personally, it marked my 10th time attending. Now, that isn’t all that impressive, I have teammates with twice as many badges and there have been 56 shows since it debuted in June of 1967. I would certainly like to have a drink with anyone whose attended them all. My treat, of course! It was, however, a seminal moment for the show’s governing body, the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The technology community made a strong post-pandemic statement that trade shows do matter, with over 115K attendees, making it the largest audited tech event since early 2020.
Sustainability @ CES
Applause for the CTA shouldn’t stop there, they also remained steadfast to their 2019 commitment to progressively integrate sustainability into the show. From pre-show communications around their sustainability efforts, to a series of sustainability focused panels during the show and Eco-Design & Smart Energy CES awards, it’s abundantly clear that the CTA understands how important it is for the CE industry to implement sustainable activities.
All that said, more is needed. Sustainability is an imperative, for everyone, but most certainly for our industry, given its dramatic impact on the global environment.
As an industry, we must identify sustainability as a movement all companies can participate in, rather than isolating it as a responsibility of only the largest, or start-ups whose business models are inherently sustainable. Climate tech, renewable energy, plant-based foods–these are all excellent additions to a more sustainable economy, yet care should be taken in presenting companies in these sectors as the definition of ‘sustainability’.
Sustainability for All
This framing makes for easy headlines but is overly exclusionary. After all, if a company is not focused directly on innovation in climate tech, is it not able to contribute to a more sustainable economy in other ways? What has a greater impact: a start-up in the financial services space offering loyalty points for sustainable purchases, an established industrial manufacturing plant increasing renewable energy purchases, or a leading CE brand moving to full circular design of all its products? More importantly, why choose only one–can’t we celebrate all three?!
The overwhelming majority of companies–including those at CES 2023–would not self-identify as operating in the spaces of climate tech, renewable energy, or plant-based foods, yet nonetheless are able to purposefully contribute to the broader transition to sustainability. And this makes sense as sustainability is not about a particular process, but rather how we can all improve our processes to reduce impacts and find new efficiencies. It’s about improvements in all that we do, whatever it is that we do.
Let’s Make an Impact Together!
Our team understands this responsibility, and we are on a mission to make a meaningful contribution to the growth of the circular economy while educating our brand partners on how they can do so alongside us. We recently launched the Verdi (Re)Source Sustainability program to help mobilize just this type of sustainable inclusivity. We have paired consumer-return remarketing services with validated environmental impact data collection and reporting to make it easy for consumer electronic companies to transition towards a circular model. No matter where you are located on your sustainability journey, our (Re)Source Sustainability program is designed to help guide you forward.