e-Stewards Electronics Recyclers Celebrate National Disability Day with Launch of New Film

Focuses on e-Stewards’ ADVANCE+ Workforce Inclusion Program

Fort Lauderdale, Florida. July 26, 2022. e-Stewards®, the gold standard for ethical electronics recycling, will debut a new short film entitled ADVANCE+ at the ITAD Summit, which begins today in Hollywood, Florida. The film’s launch is timed with the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, America’s National Disability Independence Day (July 26th). It describes the e-Stewards social impact program ADVANCE+, which assists and trains employers in the hiring and engagement of disabled workers in the electronics recycling industry. The new film allows viewers of any industry to intimately immerse themselves in the rewards of workforce inclusion.

During this period of unprecedented challenges related to labor force recruitment, there is a hidden disabled workforce waiting in the wings with proven aptitudes, affinity, and inclination for the scope of work performed in our industry,” said Bill Morris, e-Stewards Social Impact committee chair.

The program partners with James Emmett and Company, one of the world’s leading employer inclusion development expert organizations, to provide training and consultation. A study of the employment model used for the ADVANCE+ program tracked occupational data since 2010 and discovered that people with disabilities are on par or superior to traditional workers in our industry and tend to sustain their employment for longer periods than the more traditional workforce. Despite this, far too many disabled citizens are forgotten.

Autistic spectrum and other disabled citizens often tragically fall through our society’s cracks after high school,” said Bob Adams of Sipi Asset Recovery, one of the ADVANCE+ member companies featured in the film. “What is being offered with ADVANCE+ is a win, win, win situation — meaningful jobs, superlative workforce, and our customers can boast highest levels of corporate responsibility.

Beginning as an exclusive e-Stewards program, the ADVANCE+ program is now open to all Certified electronics recyclers, including R2, WEEELABEX, and CENELEC certified recyclers. All are invited to join the growing list of Certified recyclers who have completed the ADVANCE+ program and have documented substantial improvements in employee productivity, retention, attendance, and safety. The new film on ADVANCE+ was made possible by a generous grant from the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF).

Our vision is to empower youth with disabilities to lead productive lives,” says Kevin R. Webb, senior director of MEAF and Sustainability and Social Impact at Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. “We see the e-Stewards ADVANCE+ program as a great opportunity to provide competitive jobs for youth with disabilities, as well as meeting the talent needs of electronics recyclers. This program also helps companies meet their social and environmental goals when they recycle with an e-Steward by helping to create a more inclusive and sustainable society for all.

Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. has become an e-Stewards Enterprise Company, ensuring a commitment to always prefer e-Stewards Certified Recyclers.

For more information:

Contact: Jim Puckett
Founder, Basel Action Network
e-mail: email hidden; JavaScript is required
phone: 206-652-5555.

Contact: Kevin R. Webb
Sr. Director, Sustainability & Social Impact, Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.
e-mail: email hidden; JavaScript is required
phone: 703-276-8245

For a short film describing the e-Stewards Enterprise program, click here.

About e-Stewards® Certification
The e-Stewards® Initiative is a market-based solution to help individuals and organizations identify and promote electronics recyclers who ensure that used electronics are managed with the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility. e-Stewards Certified Recyclers are audited and certified to ensure highest levels of responsibility and e-Stewards Enterprises are major corporations, municipalities, nonprofits or institutions that agree to make best efforts to make use of e-Stewards Certified Recyclers. e-Stewards is a program of the environmental advocacy organization Basel Action Network.

About Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc.
Headquartered in Cypress, CA, Mitsubishi Electric US, Inc. is a US affiliate company of Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and manufactures cooling and heating products, elevators and escalators, space and sensing systems, and semiconductor devices. Mitsubishi Electric contributes to a vibrant and sustainable society through continuous innovation and “Making Changes for the Better.” For additional, information visit us.mitsubishielectric.com/en.

About Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation
The Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, based in the Washington, D.C. area, was established in 1991 by Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and the Mitsubishi Electric US companies, which produce, sell and distribute a wide range of consumer, industrial, commercial and professional electronics products. The Foundation has contributed more than $21.5 million to organizations that are empowering young people with disabilities to lead more inclusive and productive lives. To learn more, visit www.MEAF.org.

National Disability Independence Day is celebrated every year on July 26. It commemorates the signing of the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) in 1990. This civil rights law criminalizes any kind of discrimination against individuals with disabilities and assures them full participation in the community, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency. The Americans with Disability Act covers the following areas: public accommodation, employment, transportation, and state and local government services. The ADA is a life-changing act for many people. Today, one in four Americans with a disability can access and participate better in their workplaces and general communities.