R2 Background

SERI is the housing body and ANSI-accredited Standards Development Organization for the R2 Standard, which means it is the organization directly responsible for its development and maintenance. 

R2 owes its existence to a collaborative partnership between the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.  Recognizing the need for comprehensive best-practices that addressed the operational and environmental challenges in electronics recycling and repair, the US Environmental Protection Agency convened a multi-stakeholder process to create a voluntary, market-based mechanism for ensuring best practices in electronics recycling.  What emerged from that process was the “Responsible Recycling practices for Use in Accredited Certifications Programs” (R2) Standard.   

The development of the standard occurred through a transparent, balanced, consensus-based process. The standards development process took three years from start to finish.  The multi-stakeholder group included representatives from:

  • The U.S. EPA,
  • Regulators from state agencies,
  • Electronics recyclers, refurbishers, and their trade associations
  • OEMs/customers of electronics recycling services
  • Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

Once the standard was finalized, it was reviewed and approved by ANAB, the organization that provides accreditation to the certification bodies that conduct the third party audits of electronics recycling facilities. In 2008, R2 was released and repair and recycling facilities began to get certified.

Summary

  • 501(c)(3) non-profit organization
  • ANSI Accredited Standards Development Organization
  • SERI is the successor organization to R2 Solutions, which was founded in 2010 to manage the R2 Standard
  • R2 Certification present in over 20 countries

R2 Standard Update

The R2:2013 Standard is the most recent version of the Standard, and represents the first major update to R2.  It was developed by the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) as the next generation of the standard and clarifies requirements of the original R2 (now called R2:2008) practices, improves the readability and understanding of the standard, provides additional best practices, and enhances the quality of certification.

he R2:2013 Standard underwent 15 months of preparation by the R2 TAC.  The development process included the solicitation of public comments on a draft of the document.    The final R2:2013 Standard took into consideration the comments received.  After unanimous approval by the TAC, the Board of Directors allowed for appeals by commenters and then adopted the final version.

R2 Moving Forward

At its most basic level, the R2 Standard is a way to identify, aggregate, distribute, and monitor best-practices in electronics repair and recycling.

The R2 Standard creates market incentives for recycling facilities to implement environmental, health, and safety procedures that directly benefit their workers, the communities in which they operate, and the environment. The R2 Standard helps facilities avoid "reinventing the wheel" by providing consistent knowledge and guidance for electronics repair and recycling that can be applied to any facility, anywhere.

SERI has begun to explore potential program and service options to improve the use of recycling best-practices among the informal recycling sector, as well as increase the availability of R2 Certification in parts of the world where it is desperately needed. While maintaining its focus on the quality and development of the R2 Standard, SERI will provide additional environmental, health, and safety best-practices.