The Basel Action Network (BAN), the owner of the e-Stewards® Certification for electronics recyclers, announced today that it has included the R2 (Responsible Recycling) Practices, developed earlier by an Environmental Protection Agency sponsored multi-stakeholder process, into the more comprehensive e-Stewards Standard. Already, e-Stewards certifications require adherence to and deliver the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System certification. Effective immediately, the same will now be true for R2. "Almost all of the requirements of R2 are already in the e-Stewards Standard but the reverse is certainly not true," said Jim Puckett, BAN’s Executive Director. "By itself, R2 is inadequate to the task of ensuring a high degree of responsible recycling, but we have seen that many recyclers are getting both R2 and e-Stewards Certifications due to market demands. To make things very cost effective for recyclers, we will now ensure that R2 certification is provided as long as the more rigorous e-Stewards Standard requirements are met at the same time."
BAN created the e-Stewards Standard after the R2 Standard failed to prohibit exports of hazardous electronic waste to developing countries, prohibit the use of prison labor for managing hazardous waste and sensitive data, or prohibit the dumping of hazardous materials in municipal landfills. R2 Practices is an 11-page, non-copyrighted, open-source standard. The current e-Stewards Standard is a 51-page copyrighted standard which includes the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System Standard and is available under license with the Basel Action Network.
According to BAN, there are only a few requirements in R2 that are not addressed equivalently or in a more rigorous manner in the current version of the e-Stewards Standard. Now, by virtue of the latest e-Stewards Sanctioned Interpretation, all R2 requirements are now also requirements of the new e-Stewards Standard and all e-Stewards Certifying Bodies will audit to both standards. All three e-Stewards Certifying Bodies are already accredited for R2 and already report negligible additional cost for adding R2 to the e-Stewards Certification audits when conducted at the same time.
"We are very happy to accommodate the marketplace in this way as long as the end result is more globally responsible e-cyclers," said Puckett. "With this move we can make it easier and more economical for recyclers to meet their clients' certification demands, while making the world a safer and more healthy place."