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Next evolution of R2 adapts to new and diverse sectors in the electronics reuse-recycling industry

April 30, 2019

This guest blog is provided by the Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI).

Industry sectors involved in the resale, reuse and recycling of used electronics have grown increasingly diverse and specialized since the R2 Standard for Responsible Recycling was first introduced in 2008.  Certification to the R2 Standard ushered in accountability and set the industry bar for safer and more sustainable ways to manage used and end-of life electronic products.   As the industry continues to evolve and mature, the R2 Standard is once again poised to lead the way in improving how the world reuses and recycles electronics with the next evolution of the R2 Standard – R2v3.

Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), the ANSI accredited standards developer and oversight body for the R2 Standard, recently released the proposed R2v3 Draft, which is available for review and download on the R2v3 page of the SERI website.  The proposed changes in R2v3 reflect a decade of experience gained from auditing and implementing the Standard and the overwhelming adoption of R2 across diverse industry sectors such as  returns, trade-in programs, and the mobile industry.  More than 200 proposed changes and topics were discussed by the TAC, including many that were submitted by customers, industry members and the public.   

R2v3 clarifies requirements and expectations yet the original intent of the R2 Standard remains unchanged: to protect data, the environment, and the health and safety of workers and communities from the consequences of unsafe (and often illegal) management of used and end-of-life electronics.  Many requirements in R2v3 will be familiar and are based on the current R2:2013 Standard – they’ve just been clarified (and more prescription added where needed) for better understanding of expectations, and to achieve more consistent implementation, audits and outcomes.  

A key change in R2v3 is the reorganization of requirements into two categoriesCore Requirements that apply to all R2 certified facilities and more specialized Process Requirements that apply only to facilities that are engaged in those specific processes.  This modular approach better adapts to the specialization and diversity of facility types and the changing business models within the industry.   Recognition of these specializations will give customers more clarity about the capabilities and expertise of each R2 facility. 

Also new in R2v3, requirements in key areas have been strengthened based on a decade of experience and lessons learned – especially in the areas of data protection; managing the flow of material through the downstream; and environmental, health and safety.  The proposed changes are intended to reduce risk while still allowing for innovation in process and methods to achieve consistent results.

The next phase in the revision process is the public comment period.  SERI invites the public to download the R2v3 Draft  and submit comments and suggestions for improvement.  Comments should be specific, include any relevant information, include the rationale for the suggested change, and be submitted by May 20, 2019 using the Submit Comment form on the R2v3 page of the SERI website. All Comments will be reviewed by the R2 Technical Advisory Committee and any changes accepted for inclusion in the R2v3 draft will be released for another public comment period.  The final version of the R2v3 Standard is expected to be completed and approved in late 2019.  

SERI is proud of the progress made by the more than 850 R2 Certified facilities in 34 countries that are reducing the environmental footprint of electronics, protecting data, and protecting the health and safety of workers and communities, and looks forward to building on that success with R2v3.

About SERI (Sustainable Electronics Recycling International)
SERI is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that works to create a world where electronic products are reused and recycled in a way that promotes resource preservation; the well-being of the natural environment; and the health and safety of workers and communities.

NERC welcomes guest blog submissions. To inquire about submitting articles contact Lynn Rubinstein.

Disclaimer: Guest blogs represent the opinion of the writers and may not reflect the policy or position of the Northeast Recycling Council, Inc.

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