Q&A with Drew Sadler (Director, Global Public Policy, Walmart)
What inspired your company to join the Responsible Battery Coalition?
The responsible management of batteries at the end of their useful life is important for the environment and is in line with our corporate goal of zero net waste in our operations. Additionally, the promotion of closed loop systems like the one promoted by the Responsible Battery Coalition can help keep costs low for our customers.
Describe your company’s current efforts toward responsible life-cycle management of batteries (regardless of technology).
At the current time, Walmart mostly handles lead acid automotive batteries through our Auto Care Center operations. With the advent of new technologies, Walmart is participating in conversations on how to deal with emerging innovations.
How do you hope to contribute to RBC’s mission?
Driving meaningful change requires collaboration, from convening environmental NGO partners to working with suppliers to creating solutions to shared problems. To gain a true systems change, we must all work together to identify the root of major problems.
Twenty years from now, what would your ideal scenario be for battery manufacture and recycling?
Closed loop systems that reuse as much of a discarded product as possible are ideal. While technology changes may not make it possible for some battery types to be completely reused, identifying those opportunities and building out the infrastructure to expedite those possibilities is a goal. Certainly, if nothing else, informing the public on how to responsibly dispose of batteries that have outlived their useful life should be a shared goal.