SERI is an ANSI accredited standards developer, and as such, the R2 revision process is defined and undertaken in accordance with the SERI Manual of Policies and Procedures for R2 Standard Development.
For those not familiar with the continuous improvement process for certification standards, planned review and revision is important to ensure that the standard and audit process continue to produce the intended results. The R2 Standard is reviewed at least every five years by the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), a multi-stakeholder group representing electronics recyclers, refurbishers, electronics manufacturers, users of recycling services, certification bodies and other interested parties.
In 2015, SERI made a public request for volunteers willing to serve on the TAC. From those applications, SERI selected TAC members that reflected the diversity of stakeholders in the electronics reuse-recycling industry so that many voices were heard. Representatives from small, mid, and large-scale recyclers and refurbishers; electronics manufacturers and retailers; users/customers of R2 certified facilities; and governmental policy makers, consultants, auditors, and environmental advocates make up the TAC. A few statistics about the TAC:
- 48 different stakeholders have participated in R2 TAC discussions since 2015. Currently, there are 28 active members serving on the TAC.
- International representation from 4 continents
- There have been 40 TAC Meetings since 2015 (51 hours of phone meetings / 54 hours of in-person meetings)
- 14 Small Workgroups within the TAC focus on specific aspects of the Standard including: LCDs, CRTs, Closure, Collection Sites, Provision 2, Provision 5, Provisions 6 & 8, Provision 7, Best Practices for Service Entities, Social Issues, Restructuring for Specialty Processes, Restructure Drafting Group
- Small workgroups accounted for an additional 62 calls, 1 in-person meeting and 105+ total hours.
The current TAC review of the R2 Standard has been underway since 2015. Changes that have been considered by the TAC are based on what has been learned about R2 Certification since the last revision. Each proposed change is considered based on whether it will improve the understanding of the requirement, or whether it will strengthen the standard. Much of the new R2v3 standard will be familiar as most of the existing requirements will remain. Many of the changes will be clarifications that make the current requirements and expected outcomes easier to understand. Other changes seek to strengthen the requirements to ensure consistent results across all R2 Certified facilities.
A draft of the proposed changes will be released this spring. Some stakeholders who are eager to view the proposed changes have requested an early copy of the R2v3 draft. While the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is close to completing the draft changes, there are still a few remaining items under review that need additional consideration before releasing the document for public review and comment.
Following the release of the draft will be a public comment period. COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED and will help to strengthen the final product. The TAC will review objections and attempt to resolve each. The disposition of each comment received will be published on the SERI website to demonstrate how the comment was considered or where it may have been addressed in the standard. The public consultation allows all stakeholders to provide input, and is a valuable way of getting feedback on unique scenarios or issues that may not have been originally anticipated in the draft stages.
We are excited about the proposed changes and look forward to hearing the feedback. After all public comments have been considered and the final version of the standard is agreed upon, the R2v3 Standard will be submitted to the SERI Board for final adoption. This is expected later in 2019. Once released, there will be a transition period of at least 18 months for companies to upgrade to R2v3. SERI has allocated significant resources for education to assist R2 certified facilities to transition to the revised standard.