Designing A Voluntary National Program For Battery Recycling

Situation:

In 2010 legislation to mandate the collection and recycling of primary batteries was accelerating, which if enacted would likely lead to higher costs for battery companies and sub-optimal environmental outcomes. It became clear that in order to have a battery recycling system that was economically and environmentally viable, the industry needed to work together with NGOs and regulators to create a national system.

Challenge:

The potential for a patchwork quilt of regulations and collection systems at the state and local level, tensions between stakeholders and the environmental performance and lack of national recycling infrastructure had prevented the creation of a viable national recycling system that battery companies would support. Blu Skye helped the industry create a stakeholder engagement strategy that drove towards a unified vision and a roadmap.

Our Role:

  • Analyze the system: We mapped the recycling system, identified the key stakeholders and value potential for them, and analyzed the environmental and economic impacts of the most compelling models for battery recycling. We summarized the challenges and opportunities in a briefing paper to help shape stakeholder dialogues on how a national system was possible.
  • Convene the system: We designed and facilitated a 3-day “System-In-the-Room” summit with the key stakeholders focused on creating a shared vision and rapid proto-typing action plans for the creation of a national recycling system for household batteries.
  • Build momentum: We have been advising the steering committee to plan, fund and drive implementation of action plans developed at summit.

Results:

  • Aligned participants representing the five major battery manufacturers, NGOs and legislators around a common vision to develop a nationwide system that maximizes reuse of spent batteries with the goal of zero waste.
  • Guided the industry coalition, The Corporation for Battery Recycling (recyclebattery.org), in implementation of action plans developed at the summit.
  • Led the design of the national program for household battery recycling (in process, scheduled for launch in 2013), informed by six existing municipal battery collection programs that we are managing and gathering data from to support the program analytics and modeling.

 

“I continue to be impressed by Blu Skye’s ability to drive alignment and consensus where very little common ground exists.” 

-Charlie Monahan, Panasonic

 

“Nowhere in the in the world has a group of committed individuals such as this come together to start on a such a collective new journey…here today we have paved the way.” 

-Khush Marolia, Procter & Gamble (Duracell)