Responsible Recycling (R2) Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Management System
SAI Global, through its Americas subsidiary, QMI – SAI Global, was the first registrar to achieve North American accreditation for ISO 14001, which also uses the Plan-Do-Check-Act structure required in R2, and remains a leader in providing customized service. SAI Global has registered organizations from a wide variety of sectors, including electronics recycling, recycling and waste management, energy, resources, manufacturing, transportation, food, services and more.
The R2 Governing Council manages the content of The Responsible Recycling (R2) standard. The goal of the standard is to create a voluntary, market-based mechanism for ensuring best practices, which would also provide essential information/assurance to prospective customers. The standard builds on an ISO style Plan-Do-Check-Act management system as a platform, and integrates:
- Environmental, health and safety management
- Media sanitization
- Export and disposal restrictions
- Chain of custody accountability
- Transportation controls
The result is a comprehensive standard addressing the specific concerns of the e-waste recycling and refurbishment industries.
- The health, safety and environmental impacts that result from this waste stream are significant.
- Toxic waste stream - This complex waste stream contains many toxins, such asmercury, lead, cadmium and certain brominated flame retardants.
- Impact on developing countries – Illegal export of this waste to developing countries is a common practice, and causes significant harm.
- Data security concerns - Data in the memory devices of electronic equipment is sensitive. It is essential that electronics recycling ensures that data security and privacy requirements are managed responsibly.
The certification program is important because it provides a mechanism for managing and communicating commitment for:
- Leadership in operations, safety and environmental performance
- Accountability for e-waste to final disposition
- Data security
The R2 Standard has been designed to serve recyclers, which includes but is not limited to electronics resellers, refurbishers, recyclers, demanufacturers, asset recoverers, brokers, as well as leasing companies that engage in these activities.
The accredited certification program has been developed by a multi-stakeholder group consisting of: the U.S. EPA; regulators from state agencies; electronic recyclers, refurbishers and their trade associations; OEMS/customers of electronic recycling services; NGOs. ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board (ANAB) provides oversight of the independent R2 Certification Bodies (CBs), who in turn assure a recycler’s conformity to the Standard.
CBs must continually demonstrate to ANAB that they operate in accordance to the requirements of:
- ISO 17021 Conformity assessment –Requirements for bodies providing audit and certification of management system
Only recognized certification bodies can provide R2 certification. No unaccredited certifications or claims of system conformity are permitted. Certification to the program requires at least an annual independent audit.
QMI-SAI Global is a recognized certification body that can provide R2 certification.
In June 2011, ANAB accredited QMI-SAI Global for R2, further increasing the options for those electronics recyclers seeking certification to the R2 Standard. John Fraser, Product Manager for Environment at QMI-SAI Global notes the firm, 'is pleased to have received this recognition from ANAB, our accreditation body. We're excited to offer R2 certification to our existing customer base and the electronics recycling market through our audits that focus on the integrity of the standard and the needs of business to continually improve.' Fraser notes that offering certification services for R2, 'complements the wide range of environmental, health and safety and quality audits we've been offering industry for over 25 years in North America.'