Certifications 101: e-Stewards

Certifications 101: e-Stewards

Everything You Need to Know about ITAD Certifications

This is part two of our Certifications 101 series. We are posting a new part weekly until we’ve covered the major certifications and standards related to the ITAD industry. We hope to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of each certification and standard so you can make informed decisions about your organization’s asset disposition process. Read on to find out more about the e-Stewards certification.

  1. Part One: R2 Responsible Recycling
  2. Part Two: e-Stewards
  3. Part Three: ISO 9001, 14001, 27001 & 45001
  4. Part Four: NAID AAA
  5. Part Five: NIST 800-88

What Is e-Stewards?

The e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment (e-Stewards) ensures the highest level of environmental protection and worker health as well as compliance with all international and local e-waste laws for electronics recyclers. It sets forth the highest standard for responsible recycling and reuse best management practices for electronic equipment and for the recycling, refurbishment, and ITAD industry.

The e-Stewards standard is based on strong environmental standards that 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. It prohibits the exportation of hazardous, illegal e-waste to developing countries or the disposition of such e-waste into landfills. It also prohibits the use of forced or child labor in the recycling process. In the United States, there are approximately 52 recyclers that have an e-Stewards certification.

How Was e-Stewards Developed?

The e-Stewards standard is owned and administered by the Basel Action Network (BAN), a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to promoting globally responsible and safe means of processing e-waste and dealing with toxic materials. BAN initially partnered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) multi-stakeholder collaborative process to develop a voluntary e-waste recycling standard. That process led to the development of the Responsible Recycling (R2) Standard.

However, after the R2 Standard was tested, thirteen recyclers approached BAN and offered to fund a new standard that would go even further than R2 and ban the export of toxic e-waste to developing nations. BAN accepted the proposal and began a process involving certification experts and leaders from various industries, including recycling and asset management, to develop the e-Stewards standard.

Is e-Stewards Recognized as an Accredited Standard By the EPA?

The e-Stewards standard is recognized by the EPA as an accredited certification standard. The EPA encourages, but does not require, all electronics recyclers to become certified to either e-Stewards or the Responsible Recycling (R2) standard.

How Does an Organization Get Certified for e-Stewards?

The first step is for an organization to review the requirements of e-Stewards and incorporate those requirements into its processes and procedures. The next step is to contract with an e-Stewards accredited, independent third-party to conduct audits of the facility. The auditor will confirm that the facility meets e-Stewards’ specific standards to safely recycle and manage electronics and review the facility’s records to determine conformance.

If the facility passes the audit, the auditor will send the audit report to the certifying body for the final Technical Review Process. After successful completion of the Technical Review, the certifying body conducting the audit will issue an e-Stewards certificate for the facility.

After that, the certified facility must complete annual surveillance audits. The e-Stewards certificate expires after three years. Upon expiration of the certificate, the facility must go through another full audit to recertify.

Choosing an e-Stewards Certified Provider

Choosing an ITAD provider is fraught with risk. Dispoteca helps minimize that risk by ensuring that your equipment only goes to resellers or recyclers with your preferred certifications. Dispoteca’s unique credentialing program tracks certifications and verifies that they are valid and current. If you are a business or organization that has ITAD needs, contact Dispoteca to get started on your ITAD project today.

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