Recently Beth Johnson was named among Little PINK Book’s “5 Women to Watch” in sustainability. The list highlights today’s pioneers, employing cutting-edge best practices to lead the movement for corporate responsibility and sustainability from companies including Verizon, Ford, GM, and KPMG. Beth was recognized as being instrumental in expanding the Dell Reconnect program to more than 2,000 Goodwill locations over the past five years.
We sat down with Beth and asked her some questions about her role and the work being done around Dell’s sustainability efforts.
What are some of the exciting sustainability initiatives that you’ve helped the company launch?
My role at Dell is to develop the strategy and manage the delivery of Dell’s residential computer recycling programs. One of the most popular programs in our portfolio of recycling services is Dell Reconnect, our partnership with Goodwill. We enable Goodwills across the U.S. and Canada to accept donations of unwanted computers and peripherals for responsible recycling.
The Reconnect partnership makes it easy for people to recycle their old computers while diverting millions of pounds of equipment from landfills each year. The program also ensures that none of the e-waste is exported to developing countries.
Since the program’s founding in 2005, more than 114 million pounds of computer equipment have been diverted from landfills. Our team also supports Goodwill’s mission of putting people to work. The program has created more than 250 green jobs, primarily benefiting people with barriers to employment. The Goodwill staff and clients working with the Reconnect program learn to sort, disassemble and refurbish the donated computer equipment. Some have earned their A+ Certification, an industry standard for computer support technicians.
You mentioned Reconnect, what other sustainable options do Dell customers have?
Dell aims to make recycling easy and convenient for customers. Consumers looking for convenient electronics recycling can take advantage of five free options with Dell: the Dell Reconnect program with Goodwill (accepts all brands); free recycling at Staples (accepts Dell products); free mail-in and at home pick up of used Dell equipment; our donation partnership with the National Cristina Foundation; and the Dell Exchange Program.
What do you do to keep yourself sustained personally?
I found a career that I feel passionate about, so the effort I put into my work is enjoyable. I’m a firm believer in using vacation time to relax and rejuvenate, and spending quality time with family and friends is a great stress reliever. Taking time off also helps me to clear my head to allow for creative and innovative brainstorming and strategic planning. I also enjoy giving back to my community. For the last ten years I’ve been a volunteer coordinator and driver for Meals on Wheels, a non-profit organization that provides meals for homebound people in Austin. I recruit and train Dell employees, and my teams and I deliver approximately 500 meals each year to people in need.