BAN Farewell: It's About Giving them Cash

The NGO Basel Action Network just announced they want to cash out on their "Stewardship" program.  This is what I predicted.  When they started, I said they are going to have to come face to face with real recyclers making real decisions, real uncertainty, and they would be FORCED to confront their pollyana unicorn-promise responses.  They just announced a retirement plan.  Submit your proposals to see them off.

[INSERT BAN LOGO HERE IF YOU WANT NGO TO POISON YOUR GOOGLE RANK WITH A CLAIM OF UNFAIR USE]   This blog is a direct criticism of a group making a claim of environmental quality and stewardship which has botched the whole E-Waste debate and needs to be called out.  I call fair use, but whatever
There is a legitimate contract manufacturing company in tsunami-ravaged Indonesia, employing several hundred men and women who buy gently used CRT monitors from rich nations (the places they throw out working).  You say it's "illegal" (despite the letter from the official UN Basel Convention office) and that they factory should buy only fully-functional, tested working monitors (I guess they lay off all their employees and become brokers).  You destroy the company, you accuse them publicly of poisoning people.  You pull the plug on their CRT glass-to-glass recycling investment, which the Indonesians had invested life wages on, which would have taken back the bad CRTs from in-country, financed by the profits of the working monitors they bought from the USA.

You cover up the whole deal and make up a pretend story that your Shredding, no-intact-use, zero export are employing Americans to refurbish the CRTs prior to export (liar).  You say that the Indonesians are better off and happy now.  But you keep running into real questions from real recyclers, you find there's no one reusing in your chorus line.  You have all the applause, attention, and trust of journalists and environmental groups, but you are increasingly uncomfortable that you have no answers and no response (when blogged at day after day with real photos questioning the racist slant of your "primitive wire burning" photos that accompany your press release "outing" the company.  Which was later shown to be a buyer from your largest cash-paying E-Steward licensee, by the way... a gentle slap on the wrist had to do with that company which exported to the SAME EXACT INDONESIA buyer.

No need to answer obvious questions.  Simply explain that you don't respond to criticism, as you explained when the proposal (California Compromise) came out to make peace with the same Indonesians.  You were perfectly willing to show the same forgiveness to the Indonesian factory as you showed to the E-Steward... IF they paid you cash.  Remember?   The Indonesians had to license the label from you for California Compromise to go forward, and Ingenthron had to allow you editorial control of his critiques.   But that was oh, so two years ago.  Talk about spin...Time for a spin -off.

Time to cash out.  Take the money and run.   Good idea.  Maybe the professional company will have a real conscience and actually care about the people whose lives you destroyed.  The refurbishing factories were a Peace Corps volunteers wet dream of sustainability, affordable internet, job creating, and recycling.

Your best stewardship factories were cartoonish oafs compared to the engineers, technicians, geeks of color, and even the recyclers and scrap kids.  You made a lot of money marketing to the ignorance of the well-meaning environmentalists, who are starting to realize they are not immune to a poster child misreported marketing campaign.

Get out.  Don't let the door hit you in the backside.   Just add a sentence to your press release below.  "We admit that we were incompetent and are looking for a professional to administer our program".  Get the cash and maybe with your wealth you can find the time to donate to or somewhere where real people are making real decisions about affording the internet, feeding their families, establishing blood banks, holding Arab spring twitter mobs, and not patting themselves on the back for shredding up computers that were worth something, taking reuse value OUT of the USA recycling economy and sacrificing USA jobs.

Good luck and GOODBYE.  You made a lot of people vomit,taking applause for the destruction of innocent, environmentally beneficial, emerging market recycling plants.  Maybe a grown up can run your programs better.  You are going down in history as the worst environmental organization in the world, great opportunity for BAIN or some other turnaround artist.


Environmentalists Prepare for Spin-Off

of e-Stewards® e-Waste Certification Program

Seeking Independent Managers for the “Gold Standard” of Electronics Recycling
Seattle, WA, June 26, 2012 – Taking the first formal step toward “spinning-off” their electronics recycling certification initiative, the Basel Action Network (BAN) today released a request for qualifications” (RFQ) document seeking a company to independently administer the e-Stewards Certification program. The e-Stewards® Certification is the only Certification that prevents the export of hazardous electronic waste (e-waste) to developing countries.

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