Surplus Service has been recently officially certified as a B corporation. The company is now part of a very select group of hundreds of other companies around the globe that are committed to using business as a force for good.
As a certified B Corporation, Surplus Service joins the ranks of other well-known business success stories such as Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia and Kickstarter.
The B Corp movement is built on the simple fact that business impacts and serves more than just the shareholder. The movement encourages businesses to be equally responsible to the community and to the planet.
Since Surplus Service was founded in 2006, it has been on a mission to champion the reuse of electronics, keep e-waste out of landfills and help businesses and organizations find eco-friendly solutions to manage the disposal of their surplus electronic equipment. For Surplus Service, this means making sure that every business and organization knows about the importance of properly disposing of their e-waste and turning e-waste from a never-ending problem to a cradle-to-grave solution.
Lou Ramondetta, Surplus Service’s President, got word of the certification in April. He said he and the employees were ecstatic about the announcement, especially because the company was able to complete the certification process in about five months. Surplus Service also received a score of about 150 out of 200—one of B Corp’s highest rating, which shows a company’s impact on its workers, community, environment and customers. It usually takes well over a year to become certified and the typical B Corp score is between 70 and 80.
“We’ve always been interested in what we can do the help the community, other organizations and our employees, so becoming a certified B Corporation is naturally a good fit,” Ramondetta said. “It also helps us broaden the message of what we’re doing from a business and environmental standpoint.”
Individually, B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability, and they aspire to do no harm and benefit all by understanding the need to be dependent on each other and responsible for future generations. B Corp certification is like an organic produce certification for sustainable businesses. It is Patagonia versus Walmart.
Ramondetta said the B Corp certification fits perfectly with the company’s core values because Surplus Service is dedicated to being a trusted leader in delivering e-waste management solutions to businesses and organizations that need to dispose of their surplus electronics.
The dirty little secret of the e-waste recycling industry is that many waste management companies are still paid to recycle rather than reuse e-waste. This trend has resulted in close to 85% of all electronics ending up in landfills and only about 15% of electronics getting recycled. Of the small amount of electronics that get recycled, up to 80% still gets shipped overseas to developing countries that have lower environmental standards.
Ramondetta said Surplus Service’s goal is to make companies more aware of the proper way to dispose of old electronics because, in their pursuit to make a profit and improve people’s lives, many businesses tend to overlook their impact on the environment.
“What we’re trying to do is upgrade the level of ethics for companies and show them that there is a better way to deal with e-waste,” Ramondetta said.
Ramondetta said the process to become a certified B Corporation was a rigorous one that included hundreds of questions in the areas of governance, employees, community, environment and customers. A lot of disclosure documentation needed to be provided to meet the criteria and audit reviews, and show that Surplus Service met higher standards for some of its business practices.
For example, while the company already makes a commitment to provide in-kind donations and provide pro-bono services to support education programs, legislation and other community initiatives, being a B Corp encourages Surplus Service to do even more charitable giving and community outreach.
Ultimately, Ramondetta said the B Corp certification sets the expectation that the a collective organization’s mission can impact the environment and the world’s problems can be solved when businesses approach their products and services with a conscious.
For all businesses and organizations that use electronics, this means that our entire consumer culture of obsolescence will have to change one day so that quality products are made to last a long time.
Until then, Surplus Service will remain dedicated to its mission of helping companies see the urgency of reusing rather than recycling electronics.
“If there were more companies reusing electronics, a lot of the issues with e-waste would be nonexistent,” Ramondetta said.
Surplus Service is a San Francisco, CA Bay Area-based award-winning e-waste management business that specializes in ITAD, medical recycling, electronic liquidation, reverse logistics and data eradication. As the No. 1 electronic reuse and recycling leader, our goal is to provide eco-friendly solutions that lead to the reuse of electronics rather than just having them recycled or end up in a landfill. To learn more about us, send us a note, call one of our e-waste recycling specialists at (510) 226-0600 or email us at Info@SurplusService.com.