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Meet BCI’s New Director of Strategic Communications, Lisa Dry

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, December 11, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 30, 2017

What do you find most interesting about the lead battery industry?

That our campaign theme “Essential Energy Everyday” so accurately describes the industry and its products. Until joining BCI I had no idea how prevalent lead batteries are in our lives and that we unknowingly experience their power dozens of times a day. I knew there was a battery in my car, and if I had really thought about it might have realized they power golf carts and forklifts. But they’re everywhere! Maybe the reason the general public doesn’t recognize or consciously think about lead batteries is because they are so widely used, and function so reliably – we can spend our time worrying about other matters because lead batteries are on the job and keep our lives humming along.

What do you feel are the most pressing issues the industry is facing?

The real possibility that policymakers may move too quickly to mandate replacement technologies that aren’t ready for prime time. We’re experiencing an enormous amount of attention around electric vehicles and lithium-ion batteries. In some parts of the world it seems like there is a regulatory rush to set target dates to phase out lead batteries and move to lithium-ion. But the facts that newer technologies are vastly more expensive than lead batteries, that there are questions about ethically sourcing components like cobalt, and that only around three percent are recycled receive less attention. We need to ensure that there is a level playing field for all technologies.

Our research has shown that policymakers believe our industry is old, dirty and facing obsolescence. Talk about fake news! We need to change that perception, and I believe we can. For example, the same research found that when policymakers learned of our high rate of battery recycling they viewed the industry more favorably. We saw that same reaction from California regulators last month during a public workshop to discuss whether the state should move to impose more regulations on lead batteries and move to alternative and “safer” technologies. They were surprised to hear even an NGO speaker and frequent lead critic raise questions about the sustainability of lithium-ion batteries compared to lead batteries.

Why is the Advancing Lead Batteries Communications Initiative (ALBCI) so crucial to the future of lead batteries?

To remain a viable industry in a rapidly changing energy environment, we have to tell our story and the initiative provides that platform. Regulatory bodies are buying into the hype of lithium-ion batteries generated by the excitement and mystique of Tesla and Elon Musk. He’s a visionary billionaire who aims to send cargo to Mars in five years, followed by people within the decade. How do lead batteries compete with technology from someone who is bringing our childhood fantasies to life?

That’s the role of the initiative, to be the storyteller for the lead battery industry to the people who influence our future. We aren’t running a consumer campaign, we’re narrowly focused on the 1200-1500 regulators and lawmakers at the federal and state levels who shape energy, transportation, health and environmental policies.

Through social and digital media we will tell them about technology advancements in the industry and the vital role of lead batteries to power our economy. Lead batteries aren’t in the developmental stage like some chemistries, they are well understood and can meet energy storage needs today, not some future day. We’ll surprise them with the fact that all electric vehicles (with the exception of one model) also have a lead battery. We want them to understand that as the country’s energy policy has shifted from energy production, to energy storage, lead batteries play an important role in that transition.

Other chapters of our story will center on worker safety programs and voluntary pledges that have successfully reduced blood lead levels. As mentioned earlier, our near perfect recycling rate delivers a powerful, documented, sustainability message. Early next year we’ll publish a study that will provide details on the economic contributions of the industry, the number of jobs we provide, and the fact that these are well-paying manufacturing jobs.

Our biggest hurdle to success will be mining our member companies for real-life examples to bring color to our narrative. We want to hear about how you’ve helped customers solve problems, the cool application you’ve developed or how you’re making a positive difference in your community. These examples will be turned into social media and blog posts that vividly make the industry “real” and engage our target audiences. I encourage everyone who reads this to feel free to call or email me with examples that help tell this story.

The bottom line is that for decades we’ve been quietly delivering solid, reliable products. But in a changing marketplace that chases the shiny new thing, we must discard our modest persona and proudly tell the very good story of the lead battery and recycling industry

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Study Finds Lead Batteries Are Most Recycled Consumer Product

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Updated: Thursday, November 16, 2017

Today, in conjunction with America Recycles Day, BCI released their new National Recycling Rate Study which shows that lead batteries have a recycling rate of 99.3 percent. The near perfect rate of recycling is attributed to industry investment in a state-of-the-art closed-loop collection and recycling system that keeps 1.7 million tons of batteries out of landfills annually.

The new study also confirms lead batteries as the most recycled consumer product in the country and speaks to the commitment of the lead battery industry to provide safe, sustainable energy storage. As the most accessible, highly-sustainable battery technology, lead batteries' innovative applications also reduce CO2 emissions in vehicles through start-stop battery technology, help power hybrid and electric vehicles, and enable smart grid technology that improves the reliability of wind and solar farms.

"Our goal is to recycle and reuse as many batteries as possible as part of our commitment to provide an environmentally-friendly source of energy storage," said Mark Thorsby, executive vice president of BCI. "On average, a new lead battery is comprised of more than 80 percent recycled lead battery material. Every component of the battery, from lead and plastic to sulfuric acid, is recyclable which reduces waste, ensures that they are properly disposed of and decreases the need for virgin ore mining."

The state-of-the-art closed-loop process that ensures lead batteries' high rate of recycling is recognized by the World Economic Forum and MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics as the world's most successful example of a circular economy-featuring the design, production, transportation, recycling and recovery of vehicle batteries.

"We are proud of our consistent recycling record and the fact that lead batteries provide essential energy storage to power millions of cars, buses, airplanes, trains and logistic networks as well as back-up recovery systems that protect life, investments and data in emergency situations," added Thorsby.

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Lead Battery Industry Employees Tell Their Stories in New "Good Neighbors" Video

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, November 2, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 2, 2017

WASHINGTON - A new video features heartfelt stories from employees and community leaders who share their experiences working in an industry that prioritizes safe, sustainable and innovative practices in the workplace. Supported by Essential Energy Everyday, the "Good Neighbors" video showcases the dedicated people behind the great companies that make up the lead battery manufacturing and recycling industries, and their commitment to being good neighbors in their communities.

The video covers many of the reasons why it's exciting to work in this industry. From new technologies that make work safer, to the story of an employee whose job has enabled her to build homes for herself and her parents, the powerful video provides an inside look into the innovative work behind advanced lead batteries. These personal experiences also touch on the industry's commitment to protect the environment, contribute to the local economy and volunteer for local charity initiatives.

"Being a good neighbor is paramount to the more than 20,000 people working in the lead battery industry," said Jeff Elder, president of Battery Council International. "Our commitment to them is to provide a safe work environment and to ensure that our presence in the community makes it a better place to live and raise a family. 

"We support our communities by providing scholarships, donating to local charities and finding innovative solutions to protect our environment. We take enormous pride in these efforts, and recognize our role as an essential and vital employer in the locales where BCI member company facilities operate."

The innovative work to advance batteries to help protect the environment is the focus of millions of dollars of research by the lead battery industry, automobile manufacturers and numerous universities. Through these research and development efforts we have found ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and improve the cycle life and power delivery capabilities of batteries in numerous applications around the world.

Lead battery manufacturing is one of the most sustainable industries in the country and generates nearly $30 billion in positive economic impacts for the United States every year. At a recycle rate of more than 99 percent, lead batteries are recognized by the Environmental Protection Agency as the most recycled consumer product in the U.S., and their circular economy (producing, distributing, collecting spent batteries and recycling) helps ensure their continued sustainability.

U.S. Representative Charlie Dent agrees with the messages in the video, noting that "lead batteries are being recycled at a remarkably high rate." He also added that "lead batteries are going to be a part of our future, and there is a lot of opportunity for the battery industry more broadly."

Contact:

Lisa Dry
Director of Strategic Communications
+1.202.367.1240
ldry@batterycouncil.org

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Partnering with NAM to Support Tax Reform

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, October 30, 2017

As you know, BCI has a close relationship with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). On Thursday, October 19, they updated us on their efforts to advance the President's major tax reform package through Congress, which cleared a significant hurdle when the Senate passed a budget resolution. The NAM tells us that although this is an important milestone, tax reform is not assured, and it will take grassroots advocacy from the entire manufacturing community to get across the finish line.

View the NAM's actions to date, and show your support for tax reform by taking action in one of the following ways.

  1. Share your voices and your stories. Share your story of what tax reform would mean to your workers and your company - and ask them to do the same. NAM has made it easy for you and your employees; simply answer these key questions here. The NAM can then use those stories to show lawmakers why their support for reform means bigger paychecks, more jobs and more manufacturing in the United States.
  2. Engage manufacturing workers. As manufacturing leaders, we need to ensure our employees understand why it's important that we fix our outdated tax code, and this messaging can help you. We need to articulate the impact that tax reform will have on manufacturers and their families.
  3. Urge your team to speak out. We need manufacturing employees to call on their members of Congress to act on tax reform without delay. Please encourage the members of your team to reach out to their elected officials by sending them this link to take action on tax reform. When speaking with your employees, ask them to text "ActOnTax" (all one word, no spaces) to 52886 to send a message to their members of Congress to act on tax reform.

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Energy Storage with Lead Battery Technology Workshop

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Friday, October 13, 2017

The Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium (ALABC) is organizing a half-day seminar on November 24 to discuss the technical and economic aspects of lead battery technology for utility and renewable energy storage applications.

The workshop will highlight the performance, economic and sustainability advantages of using lead batteries in these applications and contracts this with other types of batteries. Recent successful demonstration projects will be described, and delegates will have an opportunity to discuss the options for battery energy storage with industry experts.

This seminar is free to attend, but delegates must register with Maura McDermott at mcdermott@ila-lead.org by Friday, November 3. The full agenda can be found here.

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International Lead Association (ILA) Releases Statement on EU Battery Summit

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Updated: Friday, October 13, 2017

Today, the EU Commission hosted a summit in Brussels involving European industry, Member States and financial institutions to identify and explore opportunities to complete the gaps in the battery value chain in Europe and discuss actions needed for the EU to remain competitive in this area.

The meeting focused on the race to decarbonise transportation and the role of advanced lithium battery manufacturing and new technologies to meet the demand for clean energy.

The ILA agrees there is an urgent need for a clear European framework that supports innovation in battery technology. But this must recognise and support the future potential for all battery types, including lead batteries:

Ensure Technology Neutrality. Whilst the Commission is addressing the transition to zero-emissions vehicles, the reality is that internal combustion and electric engines are expected to co-exist for the foreseeable future. Therefore, we must remain technology neutral and encourage the continued development of all battery chemistries through appropriate financial and legislative stimulus.

Meet Existing Demand. Sixty percent of all vehicles sold in Europe in 2016 incorporated stop-start, lead battery technology. Lead batteries are also present in micro-hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles. In fact, virtually every vehicle on the road in Europe today relies on a lead battery, and this demand will continue into the foreseeable future for transportation and critical industrial applications.

Further Reduce Emissions. Lead batteries also play a vital, cost-effective and proven role in further reducing CO2 emissions in all types of vehicles, including start-stop and micro-hybrids.

Highest Recycling Rate. Lead batteries are the most recycled consumer product on the planet, with a 99 percent collection and recycling rate in Europe. In contrast, there is presently no commercially available process to economically recycle the majority of lithium batteries.

Support Environmental Sustainability. By design, lead batteries are easily dismantled and can be (and are) infinitely – and safely – recycled, reducing reliance on the use of primary materials. Currently, 80 percent of a new lead battery is comprised of recycled materials. This is a stark contrast to many of the newer battery technologies that rely heavily on substances that are considered critical raw materials.

Continue Global Success. The EU is already a world leader in lead battery innovation, manufacturing and recycling, employing over 25,000 people.

For these reasons, the ILA urges the European Commission to support the innovative future of lead batteries, a trusted, essential and irreplaceable link in meeting Europe’s changing energy needs.

Contact:

Dr. Andy Bush
Managing Director, International Lead Association, London
+44 (0)20 7833 8090
Bush@ila-lead.org

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An Update on BCI’s Advancing Lead Batteries Communications Initiative: Communicating the Essentiality of Lead Batteries

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Monday, September 25, 2017

BCI’s Advancing Lead Batteries Communications Initiative (ALBCI) has been in the development stage for more than a year, and recently, there have been several important developments:

  • On August 31, Lisa Dry was hired as BCI’s director of strategic communications; she will lead ALBCI and work closely with an advisory group, comprised of individuals from East Penn Manufacturing, EnerSys, Exide Technologies, Gopher Resource, Johnson Controls, RSR Corporation, Teck Metals, The Doe Run Company and the International Lead Association (ILA).
  • The communications campaign is titled “Essential Energy Everyday” and the primary communications vehicle, www.essentialenergyeveryday.com was launched this summer. It highlights four key attributes associated with lead batteries: sustainable, essential, innovative and safe.
  • More recently, a Twitter and Facebook presence were created to support and reinforce the targeted messaging of the initiative.

Follow us on our social channels to stay current on innovation that is “Powered By Lead Batteries.” To learn more about ALBCI and Lisa Dry, view the full article here.

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BCI Welcomes Lisa Dry, Director of Strategic Communications

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, September 14, 2017

BCI is pleased to announce Lisa Dry has joined the BCI Headquarters team as Director of Strategic Communications. Lisa will be responsible for the strategic planning, execution and reporting of the Advancing Lead Batteries Communications Initiative.

The initiative seeks to raise awareness of the importance of lead batteries, as well as inform and educate stakeholders on the need for continued investment in sustainable battery technologies. Lisa will manage the work of a public affairs agency and develop the initiative to enhance the perceptions of the industry.

Prior to joining BCI, Lisa served as Senior Director of Communications for the American Chemistry Council. In that role, she provided strategic communications guidance and served as the media spokesperson for the Chemical Product and Technology Division, which included more than 70 different product and technology groups involved in the business of chemistry. She also spent two years as the principal of Dry Strategies where she delivered strategic planning, editorial services, media training and issue management services to a variety of biotechnology clients.

Visit EssentialEnergyEveryday.com to learn more about the Advancing Lead Batteries Communications initiative and follow the social media channels to stay abreast of campaign news and information.

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Innovation Is Happening at Your Company. Share It with BCI.

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Thursday, September 7, 2017

"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
- Alan Kay, Computer Scientist and Adjunct Professor, MIT

BCI wants to showcase the hundreds of innovations in the lead battery industry. From packaging to chemistry and beyond, every innovation has an impact on our industry and contributes to a positive perception that we are growing and advancing to accommodate a changing market.

In order to celebrate these innovations, BCI needs your assistance. If you, or your company, have implemented a new innovation over the past year, we strongly encourage you to submit it for consideration for the 2018 Innovation Award. Even the smallest changes help push the industry forward.

What does submitting an innovation mean for you?

  • A stake in helping change a common stereotype of the lead battery industry
  • A video showcase to over 600 industry stakeholders and logo recognition at the 2018 BCI Convention + Power Mart Expo
  • Recognition in the BCI conference program, mobile app, website and industry publications

Join the conversation about the future of lead batteries and share your innovation with BCI today.

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Industry Mourns Passing of Academician Professor Dr. Detchko Pavlov

Posted By BCI Headquarters, Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Academician Professor Dr. Detchko Pavlov of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, one of Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium’s (ALABC) most prominent and active scientific partners and supporters, has passed at the age of 87 on Friday, August 25, 2017.

His life and passion were devoted to understanding and improving lead batteries, as well as helping those who study, design and produce them to be more successful. He belonged to the most well-known supporters of the ALABC work and mission. His unique contributions to the ALABC projects, which included six full projects plus two project-like extensions, with the lead-acid battery department of IEES (former CLEPS) of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, headed by Pavlov, provided outstanding value to these initiatives and inspired several researchers and engineers working on other projects, as well as future projects.

The ongoing ALABC project Pavlov managed will be continued by his colleagues in Sofia.

Many of Pavlov’s colleagues and friends express his loss: “Detchko was a great man who led his strong team in the scientific study of lead-acid batteries without the financial advantages of his contemporaries in other parts of the world,” said Dr. Boris Monahov, PhD, habil., Program Manager, Advanced Lead-Acid Battery Consortium.

“He loved many things in life: his beloved wife, his cottage in the mountains, his colleagues at CLEPS, teaching people how to build better batteries, and lead acid batteries. I will miss him very much, the battery industry will miss him, his friends throughout the world will miss him, but most of all lead acid batteries will miss him. Throughout his life Detchko was an example of someone connecting people and sharing ideas, learning and building together, and seems his spirit still is and will be connecting us.”

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