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Partners in Sustainability: The Consumer Technology Association


Many of the sustainability challenges that we prioritize at Samsung – whether it be realizing a circular economy or optimizing energy efficiency – are enhanced through partnerships and collaborative initiatives with credible, knowledgeable, and innovative brands, environmental organizations, and industry groups. Together with these like-minded eco-friendly allies, we are putting our scale, global presence, and pioneering spirit to work on building a more sustainable and equitable future. As part of our “Partners in Sustainability” series, Samsung’s esteemed partners are sharing their views on how tackling environmental challenges requires unparalleled cooperation.

Name:Walter Alcorn
Title:Vice President, Environmental Affairs and Industry Sustainability
Partner:The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)
Years working together:12+ years
Partnership Focus:Environmental and Sustainability Issues in the Consumer Technology Industry
1. What does sustainability mean to the CTA?

Sustainability means reducing the environmental impact of our industry and recovering resources that would otherwise become waste. It means being resilient. For the consumer technology industry, sustainability also means helping other industries to reduce their environmental impact, such as consumer technologies that enable remote work instead of the daily commute, which reduces transportation-related greenhouse gases. It also means a commitment to recycling e-waste and advocating for sensible sustainability policies.

2. What are some of the many ways that the trade association is compelling the U.S. consumer technology industry to think about their innovation and sustainability agendas in concert?

Sustainability has become a leading theme at CTA’s CES – The Global Stage for Innovation. At CTA, we highlight planet-friendly products through the CES Innovation Awards Program, and promote these and other sustainable products to media and policymakers to show how our industry is making the world a better place.

3. How do you work with companies like Samsung who are “walking the talk” on corporate sustainability and climate action?

Samsung is an example of a member company that is working to reduce emissions with improved energy efficiency, renewable energy, responsible recycling, and sustainable materials management. And at CES 2022, Samsung delivered the pre-show keynote Together for Tomorrow that for the first time highlighted sustainability, a leading CES theme, and that keynote marked a major milestone for elevation of sustainability for the consumer technology industry.

4. Why do you think collaboration is one of the keys to unlocking solutions to the climate crisis?

There is no single “silver bullet” to reversing human-generated climate change. Collaboration across the global economy and among government, industry, and consumers is critical to meeting international commitments like the 2016 Paris Agreement. We all have our part to play in meeting this first major challenge of the Anthropocene Epoch.

5. Lastly, we know that there are some barriers to accessing sustainable innovations – with concerns of affordability often outweighing the concerns of sustainability. What are the ways the CTA is working in collaboration with its members to help address equity related to this matter?

Innovation is the key. The consumer technology industry is a great model for how innovation can provide affordable technologies to people of all means in every corner of the globe. Innovation and competition, and phenomena like Moore’s Law, have put world-changing communications and computational power into the hands of literally billions of people. And since addressing the climate crisis means doing things differently, there is not a more capable industry than ours to develop affordable innovations for all. Through CES and our advocacy for smart sustainability policies, we at CTA are doing our part to encourage and provide our members like Samsung with the space to innovate for an equitable and sustainable planet.

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