The Basel Action Network has announced that, effective immediately, the e-Stewards standard will now include all the elements of the R2 standard.
Requirements for the multi-stakeholder R2 standard have been incorporated into e-Stewards, meaning e-Stewards certifying bodies – currently AQA International, Orion Registrar and QMI-SAI Global – will audit for both the R2 and e-Stewards standards. The move is expected to streamline the auditing process for firms pursuing multiple certifications.
Firms previously certified to e-Stewards will have 18 months to be certified to the additional R2 standard, according to BAN executive director Jim Puckett, who says that no additional audits will be necessary, and firms can meet R2 requirements using the e-Stewards surveillance audits already scheduled annually.
“The reference to R2 is BAN’s acknowledgement of the robustness, exceptionally-high requirements and value of the R2 standard in the electronics recycling marketplace and in the eyes of the manufacturers, corporations and government agencies that utilize electronics recycling services,” said R2 Solutions executive director John Lingelbach. “It makes business sense for BAN to try to provide its customers with the option of achieving the most successful certification in this marketplace.”
Currently, 29 companies with 68 facilities are certified to e-Stewards and 106 companies with 174 facilities are certified to R2.
“Almost all of the requirements of R2 are already in the e-Stewards standard but the reverse is certainly not true,” said Puckett in an accompanying press release. “By itself, R2 is inadequate to the task of ensuring a high degree of responsible recycling, but we have seen that many recyclers are getting both R2 and e-Stewards certifications due to market demands. To make things very cost effective for recyclers, we will now ensure that R2 certification is provided as long as the more rigorous e-Stewards Standard requirements are met at the same time.”
In a clarifying email to E-Scrap News, Puckett said BAN is coordinating with R2 Solutions on the two standards.
“I have talked with John Lingelbach about the future implications and the need for BAN to be more involved in R2,” explains Puckett. “He will be discussing this with his board. We plan to ensure that all future versions of R2 always remain a subset of e-Stewards and are harmonized.”
“Both R2 and e-Stewards are working to ensure the electronics recycling industry is environmentally sustainable,” said Lingelbach. “But, let us be clear, the two standards are different, and they were developed and continue to be managed in very different ways. R2 is in no way, and never will be, a ‘subset’ of e-Stewards, nor does the marketplace regard it as such.”