The SERI Board of Directors gathered in Washington, D.C. on February 8 and 9 for its biannual Board meeting. One topic of discussion was where can international expansion of the R2 Certification Program have the most impact – and how can SERI can best help to facilitate such growth. The Board concluded that Asia presents the best opportunity to grow the certification program and the greatest potential to achieve the impacts set forth in SERI’s mission: 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.
For a couple of years now, some Board members have been recommending southeast Asia as a potential region in which to establish an “on the ground” presence. At its recent meeting, the full Board agreed. A subgroup of the Board has agreed to begin work on developing a workplan, budget, and next steps.
Likely based in Singapore, SERI would employ someone who knows the electronics reuse and recycling industry – and the industry’s corporate customers. SERI’s primary objectives during the initial phase would be raising awareness of the R2 certification program and its benefits to various stakeholders including refurbishers/recyclers, their corporate customers, and policy makers. This will become increasingly important as the proliferation of electronics and internet usage continues to grow in Asia, which accounts for more than half of the global population. The R2 Certification Program can have a positive impact on how the growing volume of used and end-of-life electronics will be managed.