November 2nd, 2011

The GreenDeal Team: Meet Cedric Tetzel – Merchandise Manager on a Mission

Do you like your electronics made with less toxins like lead, mercury and cadmium? So does Cedric. As the man in charge of London Drugs’ computer buying, he brings his own practical green sensibility to work every day. That’s why Cedric demands that all London Drugs Certified Data products and Tree Frog brand accessories meet the European RoHS (Reduction of Hazardous Substances) standard, even though it’s not required by law in North America.

“Electronics manufacturing in Asia is split,” he explains. “You have products made to the European RoHS standard, and the products made to North American, or US standards. When we first started asking for the European standard, we were repeatedly told we didn’t have to, that we could go for the lower standard. But we kept insisting, and now our suppliers know that’s what we expect.”

Cedric has been with London Drugs for more than 16 years, so he knows his business. And even though sustainable thinking is now becoming mainstream, he sees ‘green’ more as an expression of product value.
“You can always buy cheaper, but when you pay a few pennies more up front, you get better materials and better quality. Whether that’s wires that use longer-life copper instead of aluminum, or a better-engineered laptop that will last you 5 years instead of three.”

And Cedric believes green shouldn’t have to cost more. “It’s only more expensive when people aren’t buying enough of it,” he says. “Make a big enough production run and green can be just as affordable.”

Cedric is also working with the rest of the London Drugs merchandise team on some new standards for other aspects of sustainable purchasing. “We are in the process of developing a sustainability survey for our vendors, asking them about things like labour and environmental practices,” he says. “When you make it known that’s what you are looking for, vendors respond. They are businesspeople after all. Our company recognizes and places a priority on sustainability and we want to reward suppliers who contribute to healthy, fair and safe workplaces and practice environmental stewardship.”

Even though Cedric Tetzel deals in the world economy, he also brings his green behavior right down to the grassroots level.

“It’s basically what my Grandma used to do. Chasing kids around, telling them to switch lights off. I even take all the junk faxes I get and clip them together for notepads. Am I cheap? Maybe. But why waste what you don’t use?”

We couldn’t agree more, Cedric. That’s why you are the Real Green Deal!

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