Linda Li

E-Scrap 2017 kicks off in Orlando in less than two weeks, and we’re highlighting a few of the experts who will take the stage to share their insights.

This week, we talk with Linda Li, chief strategy officer at reverse supply chain management firm Re-Teck, to learn her thoughts on planning for and embracing industry changes, and what a circular model for the electronics market means for reuse versus recycling. She’ll be speaking in the conference’s closing circular economy-focused session on Wednesday, September 20.

What are some major themes you plan to touch on in your presentation?

The presentation will speak to the emergence of the circular economy and how macroeconomics, technology, business, environment and society all influence the circular economy. We will look at benefits and potential drawbacks of the circular economy, steps towards implementing circular economic theory, case studies of circular economies and how the circular economy is likely to change in years to come.

What do circular economy principles mean for device reuse versus recycling?

Circular economy principles reconcile reuse and recycling. There is no conflict or compromise. Instead, reuse and recycling are applied strategically on multiple occasions at different points in the process and in different applications, depending on the circumstances. Circular economic theory requires the will to reuse and recycle and also intelligent balancing of reuse and recycling as needs dictate.

What lessons has Re-Teck learned that others in the industry should be aware of as well?

Change is inevitable and necessary. At Re-Teck, we have disrupted our own business model, and as an industry we need to plan for massive change in how technology is conceived, designed, built, deployed, purchased, used and reused. Embracing change is the first step; planning for change is the necessary second step. And then, executing for change is obviously critical. A big part of that is acquiring new knowledge and ideas from other disciplines – which is what we’re doing with the circular economy – and applying them in our industry.

What are some key points you hope attendees will take away from your presentation?

Change is good is for business, technology, society and the environment. Change is possible. It does not need to be scary. Applying new ideas (the circular economy) and taking small steps can have a hugely positive commercial, societal and economic impact.

Li will be joined by Wayne Rifer of the National Center for Electronics Recycling and David Refkin of GreenPath Sustainability Consultants in a plenary session titled “E-Scrap Opportunities in the Circular Economy,” which will be held Wednesday, Sept. 20. It will be moderated by Carole Mars of The Sustainability Consortium.

E-Scrap 2017 is set for Sept. 18-20 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Orlando, Florida. Last year’s conference welcomed more than 1,250 attendees from 48 states, seven Canadian provinces and 38 countries, and the trade show featured 130 exhibitors.