March 23, 2015
Suzanne HilkerStaff Writer
Note: This story has been updated.
Over the past several years, there has been heightened awareness about potentially hazardous chemicals in products. Consumers have become increasingly aware of what they put on their skin, handle on a daily basis and store in their homes. Some consumer electronics contain chemicals necessary to protect against immediate safety concerns like fire hazards. At Best Buy, we’re actively working to protect our consumers through safer alternatives or by eliminating potentially harmful chemicals.
With that in mind, we’re making improvements to our private label products. (We like to call them our “Exclusive Brands.”)
A pilot program is currently underway that aims at reducing flame-retardants in Insignia TVs by removing the power supply from inside the TV. In its place is a new adapter-style external power source (think a laptop power cord) with a much smaller surface area, thus reducing the amount of flame-resistant plastic in the overall product. This design improvement has eliminated approximately 157 tons of flame-retardants in 2014 without reducing the fire safety for these products.
The good news doesn’t stop there.
For our customers, the redesign makes repairs more convenient. Power supply issues, one of the most common issues in TV repairs, can be addressed by simply switching out the power source, as opposed to requiring the TV to be taken apart by a technician.
Based on the preliminary results, we are looking to expand the program, which would result in further flame-retardant reductions.
UPDATE: This year, we are expanding our assortment of Exclusive Brand TVs which utilize the redesigned external power source. The redesign will apply to almost all Insignia TVs 32 inches and smaller. We look forward to reporting our further reduction of flame retardants in our Fiscal Year 2016 Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report.
What else are we doing about chemicals? Best Buy uses receipt paper in all U.S. stores that is free of the chemicals BPA and BPS.
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