R2 Certification- What It Means
in ecoTech News
The electronic scrap industry has gone through many changes since we first started recycling old electronic s. The ultimate goal was to make money. Yet as time progressed, it became clear that the money being made should be done so in a way that won’t negatively affect the environment. After the now infamous “60 Minutes” piece from the early 2000’s, the industry was forced to make some changes and prove itself to the world that electronics recycling can and will do the ethically and environmentally responsible thing when it comes to finding an end of life solution for electronics.
ecoTech Management started as an offshoot from its sister company, Crestwood Metals. With over 50 years of non-ferrous metals recycling experience, Crestwood’s transition to electronics recycling was very forward thinking. As the markets continued to dive in 2008-2009, the idea was to branch out into recycling consumer electronics. However, it was important to develop a separate brand that would present a much “greener” image to the public. That is how ecoTech Management began.
This image rebranding also came with a separation from the scrap side of the business. A warehouse was allocated to store and sort materials. Cages were built to ensure hard drive security. Policies and procedures were put into place. It took time, but the company grew into its own. Though a great deal of progress was made internally, it was essential for continued growth and external approval that we integrate a management system and the R2 Certification.
We hired consultants, trained employees, and began the process of documenting all aspects of the business. Within six months, we were ready for our audits. It was a stressful yet exciting time for the company and with our hard work came the reward as we walked away with both our R2 and ISO14001 Certificates. It was, and still is, an achievement we are extremely proud to hold. We will be going through another round of audits this April/May to continue our commitment to recycling electronics at the highest levels with the implementation of both OHSAS 18001 and R2:2013.
The certifications provide proof of our commitment to both responsible recycling and continual improvement throughout the company. As our client’s expectations require us to track our material, we must also audit our downstream vendors to ensure that we can track material to its final disposition. New opportunities are available to companies with the certification and we have seen a great deal of growth almost immediately. The future is bright for not only ecoTech Management, but for the electronics recycling industry in general. We will always need to find an outlet for our old electronics, and the standards and certifications are keeping everyone honest.