Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), based in Boulder, Colorado, has recently been formed to succeed R2 Solutions, also based in Boulder, in managing and promoting the R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) Standard.
Meanwhile, R2 Solutions will cease operations, and its staff, the board of directors, the R2 Technical Advisory Committee, the R2 Standard and supporting documents and all other assets will be transferred to SERI.
"Current and future R2 recyclers can rest assured that nothing is changing for the R2 Standard," says John Lingelbach, the former executive director of R2 Solutions and the current executive director of SERI. "The R2 Standard has been tremendously successful. More than 540 R2 certified facilities are now operating in 17 countries, but still many regions of the world are underserved or without access to responsible electronics recycling. The incredible growth of electronics use in the developing world necessitates that more be done. Both the R2 Standard as well as the new activities of SERI are critical to meeting this challenge."
In addition to managing the R2 Standard, SERI’s expanded scope includes sponsoring and supporting electronics recycling projects in developing countries, education and outreach campaigns on the need for responsible recycling and other activities.
"I am very pleased to be part of SERI and excited to embark on the many new activities to address critical e-scrap issues around the world," says Oladele Osibanjo, a new SERI board member and the executive director of the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the African Region. "Meeting the challenge of used electronics will require a variety of tools, strategies and active involvement in emerging-market countries."
Following the formation of SERI, the organization announced the R2 Leader program, which is designed to support efforts by companies and organizations to advance the responsible reuse and recycling of used electronics, the group says.
The program has been launched with a coalition of 10 partners including DIRECTV, Goodwill Industries International, Greeneye Partners, Keep America Beautiful, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony America, SourceAmerica, Wistron Corp. and Xerox.
"Since the creation of the R2 Standard for responsible electronics recycling in 2008, we have consistently heard from companies and organizations that wanted to support reuse and recycling efforts," says Lingelbach. "Our partners in launching this program have taken on truly commendable leadership roles in managing used electronics. Working in tandem with these leaders who share our vision will significantly accelerate progress in developing responsible e-waste reuse and recycling policies, programs and facilities."
The R2 Leader program includes a commitment from participating companies and organizations to support R2 certified electronics refurbishment and recycling as well as to consider R2 certification when choosing a recycling partner.
Importantly, R2 Leaders also take a leadership role in a project to advance responsible reuse or recycling of electronics around the world, such as funding pilot projects for responsible recycling in developing countries or creating new programs for electronics collection, refurbishment or recycling.
The R2 Standard was created in 2008 through a multistakeholder process that included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, electronics manufacturers, recycling companies, nonprofit organizations and other groups. Electronics recycling and refurbishment facilities certified to the R2 Standard adhere to best practices in worker health and safety, environmental protection, chain-of-custody reporting, data security and other areas.