The R2 Practices are playing an important role in the transformation of the electronics recycling industry into an environmentally conscious industry, one that takes its environmental responsibilities seriously - all the way to final disposition.` R2 Solutions is a growing nonprofit organization created to administer and promote the R2 Standard, a comprehensive set of best management practices governing the environmental, health, safety and security aspects of the electronics recycling industry. The R2 Standard aims to help raise the bar on environmentally-responsible practices in the global electronics recycling industry. R2 Solutions is responsible for promoting the standard to the information and communications technology industry, encouraging electronics recyclers to become certified to R2 in the U.S. and around the globe, and educating the public about responsible electronics recycling.
R2 Solutions (R2S) is a non-profit organization established to house the R2 Standard. It will conduct educational and outreach services and provide administrative support for the multi-stakeholder R2 Technical Advisory Committee.
- Assure open, transparent, and balanced governance of the R2 Standard
- Educate about responsible recycling practices
- Promote the use of the R2 Standard
- Explore opportunities for collaboration in furtherance of responsible electronics recycling throughout the world
Education and Outreach:
R2 Solutions will reach out to customers of electronic recyclers, providing them with information about the benefits of partnering with R2-certified e-reyclers. It will also reach out to e-recyclers, providing them with information about the benefits of being R2 certified.
R2 Solutions will play a significant role educating all audiences regarding responsible electronics recycling practices.
Technical Advisory Committee:
The R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is responsible for the content of the R2 Standard going forward. The TAC is an independent, multi-stakeholder entity, with R2 Solutions providing administrative support. It is balanced in its make-up and transparent in its deliberations, providing the opportunity for input and due process to all interested parties.
R2 Solutions Board of Directors:
John DeVillars works in the area of renewable energy as Managing Partner of BlueWave Capital. The Regional Administrator for New England during President Clinton’s EPA, he served as co-Chair of EPA’s national Common Sense Initiative Advisory Group for the electronics industry.
John Howard is currently working as an independent public policy consultant after a distinguished career in the field of law. During the Bush Administration, he served as the Federal Environmental Executive and went on to chair EPA's National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology.
John Lingelbach is a nationally-recognized environmental mediator who is currently serving as Acting Executive Director of R2 Solutions. From 2006 through 2008, he facilitated the multi-stakeholder development of the R2 Practices.
Pete Regan is currently working with private-equity backed companies and with several non-profits. Previously, he served as CEO and Chairman of the Board of ERM, Inc., the world’s leading global provider of EHS, risk and social consulting services.
Lynn Rubinstein is the Executive Director of the Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) for the past 11 years. NERC's mission is to advance an environmentally sustainable economy by promoting source and toxicity reduction, recycling, and the purchasing of environmentally preferable products and services.
The R2 Practices have the potential to change how electronic equipment and components are refurbished and recycled. They constitute the most promising tool available for promoting adoption of environmentally responsible practices throughout the electronics recycling industry; an industry managing one of the most diverse and challenging waste streams generated by society.
The R2 Practices are proving to be a rigorous, game-changing set of requirements, as evidenced by the changes in practices by e-recyclers getting R2 certified. Most notably, some of these e-recyclers have changed downstream vendors to assure responsible and transparent downstream management of their material streams.
R2 Practices: Making your IT asset disposal choice easy
According to a recent survey conducted by Converge, IT managers at mid- to large-size companies cite data breach from discarded computers as the number one concern when disposing of IT equipment. Environmental practices, ensuring proper e-waste disposal, and finding asset disposition support for remarketing or reusing equipment were also top priorities listed in this report.
The R2 Standard addresses all of these areas of concern, so you can be sure that your IT equipment is managed according to the highest industry standards while meeting your organizational goals and needs. Every certified R2 recycler has been rigorously audited by an independent third party auditor that evaluates each recycler in more than 50 areas of operational and environmental performance.
Here are just a few examples of how R2 Practices addresses these top corporate concerns that impact decision making when choosing the right IT asset disposal provider:
- All R2 certified recyclers are required to sanitize, purge, or destroy data on all hard drives and data storage devices.
- Data destruction processes are reviewed and validated by an independent party periodically.
- R2 recyclers are required to have a security program in place that is appropriate for the equipment they handle and the customers they serve.
- R2 defines focus materials, or materials that can pose environmental concern, and outlines how these materials should be managed to ensure environmental and worker safety.
- Requires downstream due diligence on all vendors handling focus materials to ensure materials are handled properly throughout the chain of custody.
- Prohibits the export of equipment and components containing focus materials to developing countries unless the transaction is legal under both the export and import countries’ laws and the receiving facility is state-of-the-art.
Proper e-waste disposal
- All R2 certified electronics recyclers maintain necessary permits, licenses, and insurance as required by state and federal regulations.
- R2 requires that all recyclers send materials to licensed and permitted facilities.
- Rigorous shipping and material tracking systems are employed by all R2 certified recyclers.
Remarketing and reuse
- Recognizing the importance that reuse has, both environmentally and socially, R2 Practices establishes a “reuse, recover, dispose” hierarchy all along the chain of custody for material handling.
- R2 certified recyclers that test equipment diverted for reuse, and confirm key functions of the unit are working, may export this equipment . Without such testing and confirmation, such equipment must be treated as though it is going to recycling and may not be exported unless the R2 exporting provisions for recycling are satisfied.
- Also recognizing that some clients would not want their equipment remarketed or reused, R2 Practices require recyclers to have systems in place to ensure that all equipment can be recycled, rather than recovered for reuse, if the client wishes.
Non-Conformity Policy (06/19/2012)
As part of its efforts to ensure the integrity of the R2 Standard and the qualifications of certified-recyclers, R2 Solutions developed a Non-Conformity Policy that guides the process it will follow should there be questions or challenges raised about whether an R2-certified recycler is conforming to the R2 Standard. This Policy was developed with the involvement and advice of the R2 Technical Advisory Committee.
Recognizing the need for a comprehensive certification program that captured the operational and environmental concerns of the industry, the EPA convened a multi-stakeholder process to develop the “Responsible Recycling practices for Use in Accredited Certifications Programs” (R2). The goal was to create a voluntary, market-based mechanism for ensuring best practices, which would also provide essential information/assurances to prospective customers.
The development of the standard occurred through a transparent, balanced, consensus-based process. The standards development process took three years from start to finish. The multi-stakeholder group included representatives from:
- the U.S. EPA,
- regulators from state agencies,
- electronics recyclers, refurbishers, and their trade associations
- OEMs/customers of electronics recycling services,
- Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Representatives from environmental justice organizations participated actively for much for the R2 development process, but withdrew towards the end.
Once the standard was finalized, it was reviewed and approved by ANAB, the organization that provides accreditation to the certification bodies that conduct the third party audits of electronics recycling facilities. See “Becoming R2 Certified” for additional information about obtaining R2 certification.
What R2 certification tells your customers
R2 certification distinguishes your company as a leader in many ways. Choosing to become R2 Certified tells your customers that your firm:
- Cares about the environment here in the U.S., and globally.
- Takes environmental responsibilities seriously.
- Creates a system of accountability for their electronic equipment, all the way to final disposition.
- Sees data security as a top priority.
- Adheres to the highest industry standards and best practices.
- Is an industry leader in operations, safety, and environmental performance.
What the R2 Solutions organization does for your company
As the housing entity for the R2 Practices standard, R2 Solutions is dedicated to ensuring the R2 standard has a lasting, positive impact on the electronics recycling industry. By becoming an R2 certified processor, here are just a few ways that R2 Solutions will be working for you:
- Increase awareness for R2 Practices amongst large-scale generators of scrap electronics, and municipal and state governments.
- List your certified facilities in the directory on the R2 Solutions website.
- Will continue to works with key stakeholders to ensure the standard evolves to meet the industry’s future challenges and needs.
- Represents the interests of R2 certified processors and stakeholders in national and international forums.
- Creates and open, and transparent, platform for managing this important industry standard.