Tracking throughput is the most important provision in the R2 Standard that demonstrates that the Recycler is actually shipping to qualified downstream vendors. It also demonstrates that the Recycler is processing and not accumulating or mismanaging material (R2:2013 Guidance, section 7.1).
All material under the scope of the R2 certification needs to be tracked both inbound and outbound, at a minimum. Focus materials (FMs) are required to be tracked through final processor. However, non-focus materials only need to be tracked to the first-tier downstream vendor.
Tracking records for inbound material may include inventory software, receiving reports and customer provided documentation (R2:2013 Guidance, section 7.2). Tracking records for outbound material may include bills of lading, invoices and downstream acknowledgements of receipt.
There are multiple methods of tracking throughput (R2:2013 Guidance, section 7.3). The best method is dependent on your type of operations:
- Recyclers typically track by weight
- Refurbishers typically track in units/serial numbers.
Your organization may need a hybrid method that tracks both weight and unit/serial numbers.
If a Recycler generates a mass balance report, the auditor may ask to see the supporting documents that add up to the amounts on the mass balance report. For example if a Recycler shows it shipped out 100,000 lbs. of circuit boards, the auditor will ask to see corresponding bills of lading that add up to 100,000 lbs. All downstream vendors for FMs listed on the bills of lading must match the Downstream Vendors that have been qualified by Provision 5. Trial/Sample loads are not allowed as a method to qualify a downstream, vendors. All downstream vendors must be qualified prior to the first shipment. All Transporters listed on the bills of lading must match the Transporters that have been qualified by Provision 11.
An R2 Certified facility is required to maintain at least 3 years of records tracking its throughput. Records need to be accessible and readily retrievable. A R2 Certified recycler should be able to provide these records, along with a complete list of the names and locations of all downstream vendors that handle focus materials, to their auditor, as well as to any clients at their request.