Posts Tagged ‘certification’

R2 Pilot Expansion in Latin America

Posted by GlobalPSC at 9:57 pm, August 25th, 2015Comments1

SERI‘s Latin America pilot project has shifted to helping participating recyclers learn and implement the requirements in the R2 Standard, following Spanish and Portuguese translations of the R2 Standard.

Now SERI and project partners Greeneye Partners, DIRECTV, Oracle, Sims Recycling Solutions and Arrow Electronics have announced that Greeneye Partners has completed site visits for the recycling facilities participating in the project,and performed a gap analysis for facilities in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador. R2 implementation training is also being offered to facility managers and environmental, health, and safety representatives.

“Stakeholders throughout electronics recycling community have recognized the need for more responsible, safe, and sustainable management of used electronics in Central and South America. By working with our partners to increase the number of responsible recycling options, SERI hopes to set a positive example others can build on. There is still much work to be done, but  this project represents an important first step in improving the overall quality of electronics recycling in the region”, Henry Leineweber, Program Director for SERI, told the GlobalPSC.

Progress to date has been encouraging, though many challenges remain such as communicating the importance of responsible recycling and the need for R2 certification in the region.  Developing cost-effective infrastructure to support certification, including local consultants and auditors, translated versions of EHSMS plans and documents, and acceptable end-markets for materials will also prove essential.

Guest Blog – Good Year for R2

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:58 pm, January 13th, 2015Comments0

The Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is John Lingelbach, Executive Director of SERI.

It has been a big year for the R2 program. Much has been accomplished – especially for a program in only its fourth year and which employs just four people. Over the past year, one of the most significant accomplishments has been the organizational transition from R2 Solutions to SERI.

We made this change so we could engage in a broader set of activities that are in line with our mission of promoting safe and sustainable electronics reuse and recycling throughout the world – particularly in Asia, Latin America, India, and Africa, where access to safe repair and recycling facilities has not kept pace with the rapidly expanding use of electronics.

One of the ways that we can expedite the work that needs to be done is to work collaboratively with others who share SERI’s goals. To that end, we established the R2 Leader program. In just a few short months, over a dozen corporations and organizations have joined. As part of the program each R2 Leader has identified steps they will take to promote safe and sustainable electronics reuse and recycling somewhere in the world. It is encouraging to see the energy and resources going into some of these efforts. For example, DirecTV is providing training in a number of Latin American countries. Other Leaders, such as Xerox and Goodwill, have taken steps to support and expand the collection of used electronics. A number of other projects in early stages of development will improve the electronics reuse and recycling landscape in various regions of the world.

On another front, we have just completed the transition from the original R2:2008 Standard to R2:2013. The new version of the Standard has a deep emphasis on quality and consistency, with new environmental health and safety planning, record keeping and documentation review requirements. Nearly 90% of all R2:2008 certified facilities upgraded to R2:2013.

Perhaps the most important SERI initiative this year is the development and initial implementation of SERI’s R2 Quality Program. Nothing is more critical to SERI’s work than the integrity of the R2 program, and nothing presents a greater set of challenges. Promoting consistency within the auditing community, and a solid understanding among facilities getting certified, is essential. Identifying and removing any bad actors is even more important. SERI is absolutely committed to doing everything in its means to maintain and enhance the overall quality of the R2 program.

2014 was a pivotal and transformative year for SERI and for the R2 Standard. Spring boarding from the momentum of the past year, SERI is well positioned to make considerable progress in advancing the cause of safe and sustainable repair and recycling around the world in the upcoming year as well as years to come.

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Global Product Stewardship Council.

John Lingelbach is the Executive Director of SERI – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International, formerly known as R2 Solutions. SERI is the nonprofit organization that administers and educates people about the R2 Standard and Certification Program. Mr. Lingelbach has served as Executive Director, as well as on the organization’s Board of Directors, since its inception, and previously in these capacities for R2 Solutions since its inception in 2010. From 2006 to 2009, he managed the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s development of the R2 Standard. Mr. Lingelbach is an attorney from the United States who has focused throughout his professional career on matters relating to innovations in environmental law and policy. Mr. Lingelbach received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Virginia School of law.

 

Guest Blog – E-waste Recycling in Developing and Emerging Economies: the Importance of Working with the Informal Sector

Posted by GlobalPSC at 12:06 pm, September 23rd, 2014Comments4

Brett Giddings crThe Global Product Stewardship Council periodically invites thought leaders on product stewardship and producer responsibility to contribute guest blogs. Our guest blogger for this post is Brett Giddings, currently undertaking a PhD at UNSW focussed on e-waste and Manager, Member Services at the Australian Packaging Covenant.

The rate of ownership, and ultimately disposal of, electronic devices continues to increase year on year; the StEP Initiative estimating that 48.9 million tonnes of e-waste was produced worldwide in 2012, a figure that is set to increase to more than 65 million tonnes by 2017.

At the same time, devices such as mobile phones, laptops and televisions are becoming increasingly complex and challenging to recycle at end-of-life. Recycling the mix of valuable materials within this growing heterogeneous waste stream is important, but simply collecting products from consumers does not ensure recovery.

As highlighted by Adam Minter (keynote at the next GlobalPSC Thought Leadership Forum) in his 2013 book Junkyard Planet, inevitably some e-waste is shipped to locations where the manual labour, often better suited to dismantling complex products, is more cost-effective and within closer proximity to the manufacturers that will ultimately use the materials recovered. On face value, it is difficult for the public to support e-waste flows to these markets. While the situation is reported to be improving, the environmental and health impacts associated with poor e-waste recycling practices employed by the informal sector are well-documented, legitimate concerns with a quick Google search conjuring up images of youths burning PVC sheaths from copper wires and factory workers sitting in piles of broken CRT TVs and monitors.

Parallel to regulatory responses to these impacts is a growth in industry-lead supply chain transparency and certification, yet still the flows of waste (at times illegally) continue, and ultimately find their way to the informal sector. There have been many calls to stop the export of e-waste to regions that involve the informal sector, however there are inherent social benefits and value creation opportunities that should be considered and accounted for. These include the dramatic rises in ownership of refurbished electronic devices in these regions and the resultant social benefits that this access affords. At the same time, the developing world is producing its own increasing volumes of e-waste, with China now outstripping even the US in terms of total tonnes of e-waste produced each year. “Cutting and running”, as with many complex supply chain problems, is not the answer.

The viability of e-waste recycling is underpinned by the availability of high-value materials, including copper, gold, silver and palladium and the ease with which these materials can be separated and recovered from the units within which they are embedded. New, low-impact, practical and place-relevant solutions are required; solutions that mitigate the health and environmental impacts associated with practices such as chemical leaching and open copper wire burning, while maximising employment opportunities and resource recovery.

There is no right or wrong approach, but solutions should be systematic, linking effective manual recycling processes with the high-tech, environmentally sound, formal sector. They should be complementary rather than competing, also able to run in parallel and coexist with the formal sector, and empower both individual operators and those working in cooperative arrangements. One example is the East Africa Compliant Recycling operation in Kenya. Supported by Dell, HP, Microsoft and Philips, collectors are able to deliver electronic goods and receive fair payment. Electronic items are then manually sorted, dismantled, packed and shipped locally or globally for recycling.

Other solutions are technology-focussed. The Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT Centre) at UNSW, has demonstrated that processing printed circuit boards using pyrolysis at high temperatures in an inert atmosphere can be utilised to recover high-value material fractions in a manner that mitigates both the health and environmental impacts often associated with small-scale processing. Currently laboratory-based, I am involved in a research project to explore the viability of this technologies’ use by the informal sector and in an environment where waste streams are far from consistent, evolving with each product iteration. Professor Veena Sahajwalla, Director of the SMaRT Centre, will be discussing this project and others as a panellist at the GlobalPSC’s next Thought Leadership Forum.

 

The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Global Product Stewardship Council.

With a background in product development and environmental management, Brett Giddings has held roles that span the full lifecycle of products; from design through to recycling. Currently undertaking a PhD at UNSW focussed on e-waste, Brett is also the Manager, Member Services at the Australia Packaging Covenant. He has worked in local government in a waste management role, contracted to several environmental consultancies, held a research position at UNSW and was Visy’s Product Sustainability Manager.

SERI Announces R2 Leader Program

Posted by GlobalPSC at 5:32 pm, June 13th, 2014Comments1

SERI image003Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) has announced the R2 Leader program, which is designed to support efforts by companies and organizations to advance the responsible reuse and recycling of used electronics.

A coalition of 10 partners including DIRECTV, Goodwill Industries International, Greeneye Partners, Keep America Beautiful, Microsoft, Panasonic, Sony America, SourceAmerica, Wistron Corporation and Xerox provides the foundation for the R2 Leader program.

“Since the creation of the R2 Standard for responsible electronics recycling in 2008, we have consistently heard from companies and organizations that wanted to support reuse and recycling efforts,” said John Lingelbach, Executive Director of SERI. “Our partners in launching this program have taken on truly commendable leadership roles in managing used electronics. Working in tandem with these leaders who share our vision will significantly accelerate progress in developing responsible e-waste reuse and recycling policies, programs and facilities.”

The R2 Leader program includes a commitment from participating companies and organizations to support R2 certified electronics refurbishment and recycling, as well as consider R2 certification when choosing a recycling partner. R2 Leaders also take a leadership role in projects to advance responsible reuse and/or recycling around the world, such as funding pilot projects for responsible recycling in developing countries, or creating new programs for electronics collection, refurbishment or recycling.

 

First R2 Certified Facility in South America

Posted by GlobalPSC at 3:01 pm, April 30th, 2014Comments1

R2 Solutions has announced that Arrow Global Asset Disposition in Sao Paulo, Brazil, has become the first electronics recycler in South America to achieve R2 certification.

 

“We are extremely pleased with the leadership that Arrow Global Asset Disposition has shown as the first R2 Certified facility in South America,” stated John Lingelbach, Executive Director of R2 Solutions, the non-profit organization that governs the R2 Standard.  “As use of personal electronic devices continues to rapidly increase around the world, so does the need for safe and sustainable recycling facilities. The challenge to protect workers and the environment while maximizing the recovery of valuable materials found in end-of-life electronics has never been greater – and Arrow has stepped up to the challenge.  Arrow’s newly certified facility in Brazil is a tremendous development for the people of South America and the environment.  We congratulate Arrow on this very important achievement.”

Developed through a transparent, consensus-based process, the goal of the R2 standard was to develop a voluntary, market-based mechanism for expanding and encouraging the use of best practices for electronics refurbishing and recycling. The “R2 Certified” designation signifies that companies have passed an annual, multi-day inspection by a third party certifying body and are found to be in conformance with all the requirements of the R2 standard.

 

GlobalPSC Member – Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI)

Posted by GlobalPSC at 11:20 am, March 7th, 2014Comments13

SERI image003

Many electronic items can be repaired and reused in second hand markets in the developed or developing world. Additionally, almost all electronics are recyclable, containing valuable metals and plastics that when separated can be resold as useful commodities. Unfortunately, many electronics are not recycled, instead finding their way into landfills or other disposal channels where rudimentary practices can cause serious human health and environmental harm.

In response to these challenges, a coalition of stakeholders including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, electronics manufacturers, major retailers, NGOs, electronics refurbishers and recyclers, and others, created the Responsible Recycling (R2) standard for safe, environmentally sustainable management of used electronics. Developed through a transparent, consensus-based process, the goal of the R2 standard was to develop a voluntary, market-based mechanism for expanding and encouraging the use of best practices for electronics refurbishing and recycling.

Responsible electronics recycling practices ensure that used electronics are handled in a way that encourages repair and reuse, safely reclaims metals, plastics and other materials for commodity resale, and guards against human health issues and environmental contamination brought on by improper recovery and disposal. R2 certification has been integral to the growth of responsible recycling worldwide and new changes to the standard aim to take these principles even further.

The R2 standard begins 2014 with incredible momentum. Over 500 facilities in 14 countries are now R2 certified with more becoming certified every week. Last July’s release of R2:2013, the first major update to the original R2 standard, added increased record keeping and reporting requirements, mandated certification to generally-accepted environmental health and safety requirements, and tightened requirements regarding how facilities that refurbish and recycle electronics address some of the most pressing environmental and human health risks associated with managing used electronics.

On 5 June 2014, R2 Solutions announced that a new organisation, Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI), would succeed R2 Solutions in developing and promoting the R2 Standard.

New GlobalPSC Corporate Member – ARCOA

Posted by GlobalPSC at 2:28 pm, January 4th, 2013Comments1

 

 

 

 

ARCOA has become one of the latest multinational Corporate Members of the Global Product Stewardship Council.

ARCOA is an ISO14001 and R2 certified recycler of electronics. Services provided to customers include Compliance and Risk Management, Asset Management, Investment Recovery and Technology Recycling. Under the umbrella of holding company the ARCOA Group, ARCOA operates facilities in the United States, Chile, Hong Kong and China.

ARCOA is committed to environmental sustainability through comprehensive programs of remarketing, de-manufacturing, component recovery, recycling and refining of used and end of life electronics.

ARCOA is committed to a sustainable future and to offering services that are socially responsible and to conduct business in an ethical manner. ARCOA’s ethics and social responsibility are built around the recognition that everything done in connection with their work is measured against the highest possible standards.

R2 recyclers adhere to stringent environmental, health, safety and security requirements and ensure that toxic material streams are managed safely, responsibly, and legally by downstream vendors – all the way to final disposition. ARCOA earned ISO 14001 certification in 2011. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards.

George Hinkle, President and Founder of ARCOA, was recently invited to Washington DC by the American Chemical Society to brief Congressional staffers on the benefits of recycling electronics. George’s presentation and several others are available here.

GlobalPSC Corporate Member – Call2Recycle

Posted by GlobalPSC at 7:34 am, August 31st, 2012Comments18

 

 

 

Call2Recycle is the only no cost rechargeable battery and cellphone collection program in North America. Since 1996, Call2Recycle has diverted over 100 million pounds (45 million kilograms) of batteries from the solid waste stream and established a network of 30,000 collection sites throughout the U.S. and Canada. Advancing green business practices and environmental sustainability, Call2Recycle is the most active voice promoting eco-safe reclamation and recycling of rechargeable batteries and cellphones. It is the first program of its kind to receive the Responsible Recycling Practices Standard (R2) certification, as well as e-Steward recognition from the Basel Action Network (BAN).  Founded in 1994, Call2Recycle is operated by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC), a non-profit organization funded by product manufacturers across the globe committed to environmentally-sound recycling of rechargeable batteries and cellphones. These manufacturers place the RBRC recycling seal on their rechargeable products and batteries, informing users that they are recyclable.

CEO and President Carl Smith serves as Treasurer of the GlobalPSC.

 

 

Presentations from Auckland Round Table on Packaging Product Stewardship

Posted by GlobalPSC at 4:02 pm, July 30th, 2012Comments0

The Global Product Stewardship Council, in conjunction with the Sustainable Packaging Alliance and Packaging Council of New Zealand, held the Auckland Round Table on Packaging Product Stewardship 10 July 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. Presentations from the Round Table have been posted on the Knowledge Base available to GlobalPSC members.

The presentations posted include those from:

Michele Bollinger addressed the commercial implications and opportunities such as brand positioning, risk reduction and cost savings of sustainability and sustainable packaging. Michele discussed Kimberly-Clark’s efforts from forest certification through to sanitary hygiene composting. Discussion of benefits to the Kimberly-Clark brand from association with product stewardship included market research on increased brand awareness, increased sales and increased positive brand association.

Paul Curtis examined the fit of product stewardship within global packaging requirements such as those developed by the Consumer Goods Forum. In particular, Paul examined the role of product stewardship in increasing transparency and accountability across packaging supply chains.

On short notice, John Webber filled in for Lyn Mayes, founder of Mad World Limited, when Lyn was unable to present. John examined product stewardship from a practical business perspective. John also highlighted the Love NZ campaign.

Russ Martin examined options ranging from voluntary, industry-led programs to those with strict regulatory oversight. Cumulatively, these efforts can have tremendous impacts on industries and provide precedent for future programs. Global context was used to examine lessons for the packaging industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Call2Recycle Receives R2 Certification

Posted by GlobalPSC at 8:35 am, April 4th, 2012Comments0

Global Product Stewardship Council member Call2Recycle operates over 30,000 collection point for batteries and mobile / cell phones in North America. Call2Recycle has announced that it is the first program of its kind to receive the Responsible Recycling Practices Standard (R2) certification relating to environmental and public health, worker health and safety, security aspects of electronics recycling, and the management of the collection and distribution of batteries and mobile / cell phones to downstream processors for recycling. A media release regarding the announcement of R2 certification is available here.

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