R2, or Responsible Recycling, is governed by SERI (Sustainable Electronics Recycling International – sustainableelectronics.org ), who also has issued the RIOS standard (Recycling Industry Operating Standard).
Environmental Impact of Focus Materials
R2 is aimed at electronics recyclers, who handle large volumes of materials. Special categories or materials, called Focus Materials, receive special attention based on their environmental impact; there is an additional focus on Focus Materials R2 applies to repairs, refurbishment, and recycling.
Environmental Health & Safety Standard
The R2 standard was developed by the EPA, US State, electronics manufacturers, trade groups, and environmental NGO’s as a way to ensure that electronics are properly handled at end-of-life. R2 requires that recyclers have a comprehensive environmental health and safety (EHS) system in place – most organizations are registered to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001. Focus Materials export is limited to countries that can legally accept them, to ensure that once electronics are broken down into components, that components are handled appropriately from both an environmental and health/safety standpoint – typically, OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. An updated list can be accessed at www.oecd.org.
R2 Update & Certification for 2019
A new version of R2 is expected to be released early in 2019, and certified organizations will have 2 or 3 years to transition (still under discussion at the time of this writing. RIOS is a comprehensive system that incorporates quality into the EHS, ensuring that ISO 9001 is also implemented in addition to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 or ISO 45001 – and these also must be shipped to OECD countries. Recyclers that are certified to RIOS have until Sept 30, 2019, to update their registrations from the 2006 version.
Want to know more about R2 and/or RIOS? Contact McDonald Consulting Group to help. We will help you evaluate your needs, and come up with the most cost-effective solution with easy implementation for your organization.