Certifications 101: R2 (Responsible Recycling)

Certifications 101: Introduction & R2 Responsible Recycling

Everything You Need to Know about ITAD Certifications

When a company or organization upgrades its IT equipment, it is faced with the responsibility of disposing of any old equipment that was decommissioned. This responsibility includes managing data security, environmental impact, value recovery, and compliance with constantly evolving regulations related to the disposal of electronic waste (e-waste). Depending on where you are located, the negligent disposal of even a single P.C. could subject you to over $10,000 in fines.

The disposition process for e-waste is called ITAD, which stands for Information Technology Asset Disposition. If you choose to handle ITAD yourself or choose an unreliable ITAD partner, you could put your organization at risk. So how do you minimize risk for your organization and choose a responsible and ethical ITAD partner? Third-party certifications can offer assurance that an ITAD provider is compliant with certain regulations and requirements and adheres to industry best practices.

This is part one of a series we’re calling Certifications 101. We will be 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 R2 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 the R2 Responsible Recycling Standard?

The Responsible Recycling Standard for Electronics Recyclers (R2) is the leading standard for the electronics repair and recycling industry. The R2 standard establishes responsible recycling and reuse best practices for electronic equipment. Specifically, it advances best management practices and offers a way to assess the environmental, worker health, and security practices of recyclers or resellers. R2 is based on strong environmental principles that maximize reuse and recycling, minimize impacts to human health and the environment, ensure safe management of materials by downstream handlers, and require destruction of all data on used electronics. There are approximately 943 facilities in 33 countries that have obtained R2 certification.

How Was R2 Developed?

R2 was developed through a multi-stakeholder collaborative process involving the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), regulators from state agencies, electronics recyclers and refurbishers, trade associations, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and non-governmental organizations. R2 is housed and managed by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), a non-profit organization.

Is R2 Recognized as an Accredited Standard By the EPA?

R2 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 the R2 Standard or the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment (e-Stewards).

How Does an Organization Get Certified for R2?

The process to obtain R2 certification takes around 8 to 12 months. The first step is for an organization to review the requirements of R2 and incorporate those requirements into its processes and procedures. It must also apply to SERI for a license.

The next step is to have an independent third-party certifying body that has been approved by SERI conduct audits of its facility. The auditor will confirm that the facility meets R2’s specific standards to safely recycle and manage electronics by doing a site tour, interviewing key personnel, and reviewing documentation. If areas of non-conformity are found during the audit, the organization will need to take corrective action.

If the facility passes the auditing process, it will be issued an R2 certificate by the certifying body that conducted the audits. After that, the facility must conduct annual internal audits and pass annual certification audits by a certifying body approved by SERI. R2 certificates are valid for three years, after which the facility will have to go through the certification process again.

Choosing an R2 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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