Sharada Rao, R2 Solutions’ quality director, says, “It was important to involve a diverse group of stakeholders. Thoughtfully considering challenging issues from different perspectives achieves the best outcomes and avoids the unintended consequences that often accompany well-intentioned policies.”
R2 Solutions says the purpose of its Quality Plan is multifaceted, including:
- improving the value of the Responsible Recycling Practices (R2) Standard to recyclers worldwide through the development of educational resources;
- helping recyclers and auditors better understand the R2 requirements and expectations;
- raising the integrity of the standard through monitoring processes; and
- identifying and removing any bad performers from the R2 program.
The plan identifies specific tools and resources that will be developed and made available to R2 certified facilities, certification bodies and auditors in the coming months. R2 Solutions adds that what will be of particular interest for recyclers and refurbishers is an implementation guide designed to help develop R2:201- conforming systems.
The certification program is designed to certify that electronics recycling and refurbishing facilities conform to the R2 Standard, which is based on best practices in environmental health and worker safety, data security and applicable laws. The standard was originally developed in 2008 through a joint process convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and involving electronics recyclers and refurbishers, manufacturers, retailers, nonprofit organizations and other stakeholders.
R2:2013, the updated version of the standard, emphasizes repair and reuse, record keeping and reporting, environmental health and safety planning, data security and other updates, R2 Solutions says.
The Quality Plan also calls for more guidance on how refurbishers and recyclers can identify acceptable downstream vendors, track focus materials and avoid and correct common nonconformances.
Other elements of the Quality Plan focus on training for auditors and certifying bodies in the areas of legal requirements and the tracking of focus materials. Random “check-in” audits, a hotline to report nonconformances and procedures for evaluating and removing bad performers (facilities and auditors) also are discussed in the Quality Plan and will play a significant role in upholding and strengthening the integrity of the R2 Standard, the company says.
“The implementation of this Quality Plan will provide additional training and resources to recyclers, auditors and CBs— making R2:2013 certification more attainable around the world, while upholding and advancing the high standards and integrity of the R2 program,” says John Lingelbach, executive director of R2 Solutions. “Our focus on both education and accountability is a win for recyclers, their customers, health and safety and the environment.”