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What's R2 Certification All About

Oct 08, 2016

1.What’s R2:2013 certification?

R2:2013 certification (sometimes referred to as responsible recycling certification) is a company level certification based on the R2 standard overseen by the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). The standard is described as "Responsible Recycling ("R2") Practices for Use in Accredited Certification Programs for Electronics Recyclers". The standard requires certified companies to have a policy on managing used and end-of-life electronics equipment, components and materials based on strategies such as reuse, materials and energy recovery and/or disposal.

2.Who needs R2Certification?

This certification is intended for electronics recyclers.Certification is issued by third party certifying bodies. Companies wishing to become R2 certified should ensure their operation is in compliance with the R2 standard and contact one of the certifying bodies that provide certification to R2. The certifying body will conduct an audit; upon successful completion of the audit the company will receive a certificate from the certifying body.

The R2 Standard is specific to a facility (R2:2013 Introduction – Applicability).  SERI has received licensing requests for residential addresses and/or individual person’s.In order to maintain clarity and integrity of the R2 Certification consistent with the goodwill of the R2 mark, SERI will not issue a licensing agreement and thereby not allow individuals or organizations at a residential addresses to be R2 Certified.At a minimum, a commercial organization must be established with appropriate business licenses at a commercial address. 

3.Why is R2 Certification important?

Developed by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), the R2:2013 Standard establishes responsible recycling (“R2”) practices for the recycling of electronics globally. By certifying to this Standard through an accredited third-party certification body, R2 help customers make informed decisions and have increased confidence that used and end-of-life electronic equipment are managed in an environmentally responsible manner, protective of the health and safety of workers and the public, and that all data on all media devices is secure until destroyed.

Certification advances best practices and offers a uniform way to assess the environmental, worker health, and security practices of companies engaged in the business of managing used electronics. The EPA acknowledges R2 as a certification program that is based on strong environmental standards which maximize reuse and recycling, minimize exposure to human health or the environment, ensure safe management of materials by downstream handlers, and require destruction of all data on used electronics

4.What R2 certification all about?

a.Data security — All R2 Certified Recyclers are required to sanitize, purge, or destroy data on all hard drives and data storage devices using customer- and equipment-specific security programs via processes that are subject to periodic review and validation by independent parties.

b.Recovered, Reused, Recycled —  Being mindful of both the environmental and social ramifications of reuse, R2 practitioners adhere to a “reuse, recover, dispose” philosophy down the chain of custody. If it meets key function operational standards, and then deemed fit for reuse, equipment is exported. If not, it will be recycled and the IT assets exported only once R2 exporting recycling provisions are satisfied. And as the client is king, when recovery or reuse aren’t preferred, the assets are automatically earmarked for the R2-standardized recycle bin.

c.Safe Environmental Practices — R2 Electronics Recyclers are responsible and accountable for all aspects of focus materials, (or materials that pose environmental concern) from start to finish and all steps in between. While remaining compliant with domestic regulations and international treaties, all steps in the process are handled in a safe and responsible manner ensuring worker and environmental well being.

d.Proper E-Waste Disposal — R2 certified Electronics Recyclers are required to hold all necessary state and federal regulated permits, licenses, and insurance as well as utilizing stringent shipping and material tracking systems in sending materials to only those facilities that are licensed and permitted. Nothing is left to chance.

5.What benefits can I get from being certified to R2?

The vast majority of certified recyclers reported that certification has increased their business. Independent research conducted in 2012 by Gracestone, Inc. & Arcadian Solutions (small consultancies with in-depth expertise on global End-of-life-electronics management) found that:

a.95% of certified recyclers reported increased demand for responsible recycling.

b.70% of certified recyclers reported that certification had increased their business.

c.31% reported increases of more than an 11% 

d.25% reported increases of 6-10%

e.14% reported an increases up to 5%

f.36% reported reduced insurance premiums due to better EH&S practices