Derek Guest, the new executive director of the Remanufacturing Industry Council (RIC), has a few ideas on where he'd like to take the organization. He describes two major goals: expanding RIC membership – which would help to increase the organization's influence and thus support growth of the remanufacturing industry as a whole – and more clearly defining what the industry does.
Half a year into his tenure, he has already taken important steps toward achieving these goals. In April, in part to increase visibility of the RIC – and thus build its membership – he organized and administered the 2013 Remanufacturing Industry Roundtable, held at the Golisano Institute for Sustainability (Rochester, New York). The meeting featured a host of distinguished speakers from across the industry discussing an array of topics. Among them: the economy, the impact of environmental regulations, and research and technology developments.
At the end of the meeting, attendees sat down to discuss priorities for growth and sustainability, as well as the variety of obstacles and opportunities the industry faces. They agreed that one of the greatest impediments to industry growth is that the definition of remanufacturing is poorly misunderstood. Too often people confuse it with other practices such as recycling and refurbishing. Bill Schofield, PEARL member, PEARL Past-President, and President of Circuit Breaker Sales Co., Inc. (Gainesville, Texas) chairs the RIC committee tasked with helping to define remanufacturing. "My committee is lucky to have input from both large and small remanufacturing companies so that we can develop a working definition that clarifies and promotes the economic and environmental benefits of remanufacturing while helping to overcome remaining trade barriers," he explains.