R2 Solutions updates global electronics recycling certification standard

By Editor


Greentech Lead America: R2 Solutions announced significant updates to its R2 certification standard. The new standard, R2:2013, greatly increases the oversight and quality assurance tools critical to a voluntary certification program.

The new standard will go into effect July 1, 2013.

“It is essential for the electronics recycling industry around the globe to continuously raise the bar when it comes to data security, the environment, and the health and safety of its employees and surrounding communities,” said John Lingelbach, executive director of R2 Solutions.

“With R2:2013, we continue to improve the R2 Standard so that we can offer recyclers and their upstream customers the absolute best in electronics recycling industry practices,” Lingelbach added.

The highlights of R2:2013 include a requirement for all R2 facilities to have an approved environmental, health and safety management system (EHSMS). Currently, approved management systems include a combination of ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 or the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS). The EHSMS requirement improves the integrity and accountability of the entire R2 certification.

R2:2013 also includes enhanced export requirements for more explicit compliance with export and import laws of all exporting, importing and in-transit countries, whether OECD or non-OECD. Other highlights include a fully comprehensive approach to data security and destruction, assuring the security of all media until it is thoroughly sanitized or destroyed, and clarified downstream due diligence requirements to better track equipment containing Focus Materials through each vendor until it is sold for reuse or as a commodity.

The updated standard was developed after a thorough evaluation of the current R2:2008 standard by a multi-stakeholder group, the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Participants of the TAC deliberations included representatives from Best Buy, Dell, Microsoft, UPS, the U.S. federal government’s General Services Administration (GSA), and some of the most progressive large and small electronics recyclers and refurbishers in the world.

The R2 Standard was originally developed by a multi-stakeholder group convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA encourages all electronics recyclers to become certified and upstream customers to choose certified electronics recyclers. The EPA currently lists R2 as a certification option under its eCycling resources.

Currently, more than 400 electronics recycling facilities have been certified to the R2 Standard. The R2 Standard’s reach is global with facilities certified in Australia, Canada, China, Costa Rica, England, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore.

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