R2:2013 officially unveiled

R2:2013 officially unveiled

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

With one week to go until the revised standard goes into effect, R2 Solutions has officially announced the new R2:2013 certification for electronics recycling facilities.

The revised certification features improvements to oversight and compliance assurance, including a requirement that all certified facilities have an environmental health and safety management system such as ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 or RIOS. R2:2013 also requires compliance with the import and export laws of all importing, exporting and transit countries, regardless of whether they are OECD members. Improvements to data security management practices are also among the many changes.

"It is essential for the electronics recycling industry around the globe to continuously raise the bar when it comes to data security, the environment, and the health and safety of its employees and surrounding communities," said John Lingelbach, executive director of R2 Solutions. "With R2:2013, we continue to improve the R2 Standard so that we can offer recyclers and their upstream customers the absolute best in electronics recycling industry practices."

Third-party certification bodies can begin the process to become R2:2013-designated facilities when the revised certification goes into effect July 1.  Certifications to R2:2008 will no longer be issued beginning in 2014, and all existing R2:2008 certifications will need to be updated to R2:2013 before 2015 to continue to be valid.

While the improvements have been widely welcomed by most in the electronics recycling industry, the road to the new certification has included some rough patches. For example, last week, the Basel Action Network released a white paper titled "Five Fundamental Flaws: A Concise Critique of the R2:2013 Standard," which sharply criticized the way the new standard handles facility EH&S systems and alleged the new standard allows companies to skirt international law.

Additionally, R2:2013 will include a $1,500 annual fee per certified facility, which had previously not been included.  R2 Solutions says the new revenue is necessary to perform proper maintenance on the standard, hire additional staff and generally accommodate the rapid growth in the number of R2-certified companies.  As of this writing, 415 facilities are certified to R2:2008, worldwide.

Attendees at the upcoming E-Scrap Conference in Orlando, Florida can learn more about the new R2:2013 rollout and revisions. Pre-conference workshops are planned covering both the R2 and e-Stewards certifications. John Lingelbach of R2 Solutions and Jim Puckett, executive director of the Basel Action Network, which oversees development of e-Stewards, will also present the latest updates to their respective certifications during a conference session.

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