SERI’s board of directors and staff worked diligently over the course of 2017 to develop SERI’s “2018 Strategic Plan”. It is a five-year plan that stresses three key themes: (1) maximizing conformance within the R2 certification program; (2) increasing responsible electronics refurbishing and recycling through other strategies, in both developed and developing countries; and (3) measuring and communicating to stakeholders the impacts of SERI’s work.
Maximizing conformance within the R2 certification program.
Implementing the R2 certification program is a collective effort, with much of the work done by others. For example, SERI does not perform certification audits or make the determinations to issue certificates. Nonetheless, SERI can support and monitor the performance of those that do -- the auditors and certification bodies. The Strategic Plan calls for continued work in this area, including more training of auditors and improved communication between SERI and certification body program managers. It also calls for systematic review by SERI of auditing packages and certification determinations.
Longer term, the Plan calls for evaluation and potential implementation of a database that would enable SERI to track the performance of certified recyclers. It also calls for the evaluation of GPS trackers and any other technologies that might serve as effective tools within the context of a certification program.
Increasing responsible electronics refurbishing and recycling through other strategies, in both developed and developing countries. SERI’s mission is ambitious and far reaching:
“SERI 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.”
The Board recognizes that SERI’s mission cannot be achieved solely though the R2 certification program. Looking ahead, SERI seeks to position itself to partner with other entities – public, private, non-governmental – to address the root causes that lead to irresponsible management of used and end-of-life electronics. This could involve activities in areas such as training, capacity building, policy development, and facilitating technology transfer.
Measuring and communicating to stakeholders the impacts of SERI’s work. The board recognized that responsible organizations should measure the impacts of their work and communicate these impacts publicly. The third major theme of SERI’s Strategic Plan states this clearly. It calls for SERI to utilize and meet ISEAL’s Impact Code. ISEAL is an organization that develops consensus-based “Codes” – policies and procedures – for implementing top-tier sustainability certification programs. Its Impacts Code is rigorous and will require SERI to carefully identify and determine how to measure its key impacts.
Building on the positive impacts of the R2 certification program to date, SERI’s Strategic Plan sets forth an ambitious vision for SERI’s future. It provides concrete steps for SERI staff to implement over the coming years and a means to measure SERI’s progress as an organization intent on affecting positive change in the environmental performance of the electronics refurbishing and recycling industry.