How Bloomberg Manages E-Waste and Sustainability

Posted on August 21, 2012 · Posted in Uncategorized

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Lee Ballin, Bloomberg’s Head of Global Supply Chain Manager for Sustainability, has a simple motto when it comes to doing business: Everyone can do well by doing good. This philosophy has been instilled throughout the entire company, Ballin said. “80% of Bloomberg LP employees believe that sustainability initiatives are important.”

Here at PK Metals, we take pride in our commitment to sustainability. We have over 80 employees spread over our 20 acre facility on Long Island working to recycle electronics, metal, and plastic. PK Metals is R2/RIOS certified electronics recycler, and our subsidiary e-Green Recycling Management LLC is R2, 14001, and NAID certified.

We reached out to Mr. Ballin to hear more about Bloomberg LP sustainability initiatives to share with our Forbes readers. You can check out Bloomberg’s Sustainability report at

Bloomberg LP applies their core business philosophy, to provide transparency through data, news, and analytics to their Sustainability initiatives. Bloomberg started their sustainability initiatives in 2007, with the goal of reducing their carbon footprint 50% by 2013, and receive at least a 15% return on investment. By the end of 2011, Bloomberg reached their environmental goal two years early and exceeded their financial target by a factor of 10.

“When it comes to engagement with our employees, we have two approaches: active and passive,” said Ballin. “Our passive engagement is through our internal communication systems, email, and websites that are always available. Active engagement in the form of initiatives such as our E-Waste events, or our corporate discounts that we give to our employees to use Zipcar. At a recent E-Waste event for our employees, 2,800 pounds of e-waste was collected.”

After reviewing Bloomberg’s Sustainability Report, we highlighted some key metrics below:

  • Two solar installations have been completed at Bloomberg’s offices. One, a 1.8 MW solar installation at the New Jersey campus, will supply over 50% of the primary building’s annual energy consumption. The second is a rooftop installation at the San Francisco office.
  • With revenue growth, employee growth and occupancy growth up 30%, electricity consumption is only up 4%.
  • Landfill waste per employee has dropped 39% since 2007.
  • By removing garbage cans and encouraging trash sorting, 400 metric tons were composted globally, double 2010′s total.

As the conversation turned to the positive impact sustainability programs will have on future generations, we asked Ballin some questions about his career, and advice he has for the next generation of business leaders.

When asked for three books that he would recommend, Ballin mentioned: Power to the People: How the Coming Energy Revolution Will Transform an Industry, Change Our Lives, and Maybe Even Save the Planet by Vijay Vaitheeswaran , Green to Gold by Dan Esty and Andrew Winston, The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman , and Cradle to Cradel by Michael Braungart. When asked if he could invite any four people to dinner, Ballin selected: Michael Bloomberg, Patrick Ewing, Eddie Vedder, and President Obama.

As Bloomberg looks to 2020 to set new sustainability targets, there is no doubt that Lee Ballin and his team at Bloomberg will play a crucial role in setting the standards for the industry.