Revised standard said to require a stronger management system, stricter data protection and full adherence to import/export laws.
R2 Solutions, Boulder, Colo., has announced updates to its R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) certification standard at the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) 2013 World Recycling Convention & Exhibition in Shanghai. According to R2 Solutions, “The new standard, R2:2013, greatly increases the oversight and quality assurance tools critical to a voluntary certification program.”
The new standard is effective July 1, 2013.
“It is essential for the electronics recycling industry around the globe to continuously raise the bar when it comes to data security, the environment and the health and safety of its employees and surrounding communities,” said John Lingelbach, executive director of R2 Solutions. “With R2:2013, we continue to improve the R2 Standard so that we can offer recyclers and their upstream customers the absolute best in electronics recycling industry practices.”
The R2 Standard consists of 13 provisions. The most significant change to the R2 program is the requirement for all R2 facilities to have an approved environmental, health and safety management system (EHSMS). Currently approved management systems include a combination of ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 or the Recycling Industry Operating Standard (RIOS) system. The EHSMS requirement improves the integrity and accountability of the entire R2 certification, according to R2 Solutions.
R2:2013 also includes:
• Enhanced export requirements designed to more explicitly include compliance with the export and import laws of all exporting, importing and in-transit countries, not just non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries.
• Clarified existing downstream due diligence requirements designed to better track equipment containing focus materials through each downstream vendor until it is sold for reuse or as a commodity.
• A comprehensive approach to data security and destruction designed to assure the security of all media until it is effectively sanitized or destroyed.
“The overall goal of R2:2013 is to help IT asset disposition (ITAD) companies optimize their systems and practices and, by certifying to its requirements, assure their upstream clients that they are fully addressing potential risks to brand and potential legal and financial liabilities,” R2 Solutions says.
The updated standard was developed after a thorough evaluation of the current R2:2008 standard by a multistakeholder group, the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC). Participants in the TAC deliberations included representatives from Best Buy, Dell, Microsoft, UPS, the Federal Government’s General Services Administration (GSA) and large and small electronics recyclers and refurbishers.
The R2 Standard was originally developed by a multistakeholder group convened by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
There will be a transition period of 18 months for those certified to R2:2008, R2 Solutions notes.
Currently, nearly 400 electronics recycling facilities have been certified to the R2 Standard.