There have been recent articles in industry publications about organizations that advertise their use of R2 Certified recyclers. SERI certainly supports using R2 Certified recyclers, however, it is important to understand the difference between an actual R2 Certified recycler versus one that only advertises their use of R2 certified recyclers. A facility that is not R2 Certified is not subject to R2 audits by an R2 approved certifying body and does not operate under the oversight of the R2 Certification program. Using a facility that is not R2 Certified and monitored may increase the risk of your electronics being diverted—which, in turn, may increase your exposure to data breaches, illegal exports, and improper disposal.
R2 Certified facilities are monitored by auditors to verify they are conforming to the requirements of the R2 Standard. R2 Certified facilities have invested in this voluntary oversight to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and their ability to responsibly reuse and recycle all equipment passing through their control. The value in R2 Certification is regular monitoring of R2 facilities by independent certification bodies to verify conformance to the industry best practices contained in the R2 Standard. This monitoring provides increased confidence to customers that their electronics will be responsibly reused and/or recycled.
Conversely, very little investment is required to start a recycling or ITAD business and make claims of “no landfilling” or “only using R2 Certified recyclers,” but without audits and the oversight of certification bodies, these claims are simply self-made and unverified.
The Bottom Line: An organization that uses R2 Certified downstream recyclers may be properly managing risks, but there is no oversight or assurance of these self-made claims. Reduce your risk of data breaches, legal liabilities and bad publicity by sending your electronic equipment directly to an R2 Certified facility.