SERI Makes Revision of R2 Certification Standard

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Jul 1st, 2019



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Are you in the market looking for a good e-waste recycling partner? Or are you currently working with a partner and you think it’s time to renew your terms? Either way, here’s something you need to know. The Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) recently revised their R2 (Responsible Recycling Practices) standard. 

R2 director, Sean De Vries, presented the third version of the R2 standard known as R2V3 during the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) and the Pennsylvania Recycling Markets Center (RMC) Sustainable Materials webinar series in March 2019. According to Sean De Vries, the new standards are likely to be “more effective of the time we’re in.”

But before we get into what the revised standard entails, here’s a word about SERI.

About SERI

SERI is an ANSI-accredited standards developer best known as the creators of the R2 Standard, which outlines best practices for electronics repair and recycling issues around the world. 

As part of the Manual of Policies and Procedures for R2 development, SERI states that certification standards are required to be continuously improved and updated regularly.

These updates are implemented by an independent board who decide the on the changes to be made to the standard. Think of them as the gatekeepers for everything that concerns electronics recycling in any industry

They get together regularly to review and revise the standards to ensure they are up to date with the latest industry developments. And every five years, a select committee that called the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) reviews everything to make sure it complies with best practices. 

The TAC has been reviewing the R2 standard since 2015, and it consists of different types of stakeholders, ranging from recyclers and electronics manufacturers to other certification agencies. As of today, there are 28 active members on the TAC. And members span four continents.

What the revised standard entails

The new version of the R2 standard maintains all the general principles of the original R2. But it aims to make them easier to understand. For instance, it has new rules about destroying data contained in electronics up for recycling. And adopting environment-friendly practices while recycling.

These new rules have come about because of the realization of the value of data in recent times. “Everything really contains data, so it has to be treated that way,” said  Sean De Vries. “Small devices, such as cross-function devices that look like a watch but function as a computer, can contain quite a lot of information.”

The new standards will also have additional details about how different facilities should approach their electronics recycling process. With more than 800 facilities in 35 countries holding R2 certifications, these new changes will be designed to help the recycling industry raise the bar and ensure everyone’s doing the right thing.

The changes will highlight issues such as data sanitization and test, repair and reuse. It will also recognize specialty services and expertise. And it will provide flexibility for how recycling companies carry out their operations under the new standard. 

In effect, version 3 will move away from being rigid to more flexible. It will provide industry experts enough room to adopt the standard to their natural workflow. At the same time, it would also ensure that the processes they follow are more transparent to the customers as well. 

Suffice it to say that the new standard would perhaps allow for smoother and clearer handling of electronics. This goes for manufacturers as well as recyclers.  R2 certified organizations will be given time to change to version 3 until the summer of 2021. That is a two-year long period to go through the details. And it allows them to see what applies to their business model and determine what changes need to be made.

If you’re looking for a new recycling partner, it’s essential to stay up to date on the upcoming changes in the R2 standards. You want to pick a partner who knows the R2 standard in and out. And who understands the implications of the new revisions.

As an R2 certified company, Securis can help you navigate through all the upcoming changes and ensure your company remains compliant when disposing of its electronics. For more information, contact us today.