The Importance of e-Stewards and R2 Certifications

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In a recent Liquid Technology press release, it was announced that we recently obtained e-Stewards and R2 certifications. But, what is the importance of these two certifications and what makes them each unique?

Here, we look at what it means to be certified by e-Stewards and R2, the processes involved in certification, and why each is important in its own way.

What is e-Stewards Certification?

E-Stewards certification is one of the most important certifications for modern e-waste recyclers. It is also one of the single most effective identifiers for telling whether or not an e-waste recycler practices compliance because in order to obtain certification, a recycler must meet the strict requirements included in the e-Stewards Standard, which include:

  • Passing annual 3rd party audits
  • Demonstrating the downstream disposition of all hazardous waste throughout their supply chain
  • Operating a management system to achieve compliance with all laws
  • No exportation of e-waste to developing countries
  • No use of prison labor

Liquid Technology is certified under the e-Steward 2.0 Standard. This means we are in full compliance with the most current industry standards.

What is R2 Certification?

R2 certification was implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2008 as the “Responsible Recycling Practices for Use in Accredited Certifications Programs” was introduced. This certification is utilized as a means of ensuring that an e-waste recycler is fully compliant with the EPA’s e-waste disposal measures.

The R2 certification program was updated in 2013 to enforce greater transparency and additional best practices requirements for applicants. Liquid Technology is certified in the most recent R2:2013 Standard, meaning that we meet the latest requirements for certification.

In order to successfully obtain R2 certification, an e-waste recycler must demonstrate:

  • Proper management of environmental and OH&S issues using an EHS management system
  • Proper selection and management of downstream vendors
  • Usage of generally-accepted data destruction practices
  • Use of safe storage practices
  • A functioning security program
  • Financial responsibility

What are the Benefits of Choosing an e-Stewards and R2 Certified Recycler?

Recyclers that are certified in both e-Stewards and R2 are in full alignment with the needs and expectations of their clients. In becoming certified by these two programs, a recycler has proven that they are socially and environmentally responsible, that they are transparent in their downstream dispositions, that they are in full compliance of today’s e-waste handling laws (including the Basel Convention), and that they practice thorough data protection via auditable chain-of-custody documentation and data destruction.

In addition, certified companies are proven to reduce certain environmental and human health impacts caused by improper recycling; increase access to quality reusable and refurbished equipment; and reduce energy use and other environmental impacts associated with mining and processing of virgin materials.

Why are Both Certifications Important?

Although similar, the e-Stewards and R2 certifications have their differences. As a result, being certified by both proves that the recycler promotes and enforces the responsible recycling of used electronics. Specifically, these certification programs are proof that the recycler adheres to strong environmental standards which maximize reuse and recycling, minimize exposure to the environment, ensure safe management of materials by downstream partners, and perform destruction of all data on all used electronics.

Liquid Technology is certified in the most recent e-Stewards and R2 certifications. If you want your equipment handled by a proven-responsible recycler, then contact us today at 800-797-5478. We have the expertise and resources to handle any size job.

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