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  • Date: March 2, 2022
  • Category: Uncategorized

Why we chose not to renew our R2 (Responsible Recyclers) certification

Since 2014, give IT. get IT. has been an R2 certified electronics recycling facility. If you’ve never heard of R2 certification, it is to the electronics recycling industry what the Eagle rank is to Boy Scouts or a blackbelt is to karate students. It’s a form of recognition from a respected third party that lets the world know we’ve dedicated a lot of time and effort to doing things the right way.

The difference is, once a boy scout passes his Eagle board of review or a karate student earns her blackbelt, those honors never expire. To maintain our R2 certification, we at give IT. get IT., successfully completed a three and a half-day audit every year for the past five years.

We willingly took on these considerable annual challenges and expenses for two reasons:

  1. To establish instant credibility with potential recycling clients
    When security and compliance-minded Operations or Facilities Directors see R2 certification, they know they can trust an e-waste recycling company to deliver secure IT asset disposition services with minimal impact on the environment.
  2. To provide tangible evidence of our commitment to the environment
    We talk a lot about our Zero Landfill policy, but we wanted to back up our words so our recycling clients and supporters could have total confidence in us.

These two benefits were critical for us in 2014 when we were actually taking apart waste electronic devices for recycling. Back then, our team disassembled devices down to individual components, extracted valuable metals from these components, and sold those metals to fund our operation. By following R2 guidelines and procedures to the letter, we mitigated all environmental risks of these activities and ensured the safety of our team.

Even though we no longer process waste electronics at give IT. get IT., we’ve maintained our R2 certification because we viewed the standard as a good reflection of our own values. As we started preparing for our next R2 certification audit, we learned the new version of the R2 standard added significant administrative burdens that did not add any value at all. We’ll spare you the details of these new requirements. Suffice to say; they would have made every task we undertake to recover and refurbish computers more time-consuming without making our operation any more environmentally friendly or secure than it already is.

As much as we share the principles and values of the R2 standard, we do not believe the extra heavy burden of the third version adds any value to our operation (E-Scrap news recently published an article that reaches a similar conclusion). We also have no desire to recuperate the $35,000 annual recertification cost in the form of higher recycling fees that could discourage businesses from using our services. Finally, the idea of passing any of these costs on to our digital inclusion clients is not an option since so many of these folks are already struggling.

Simply put, maintaining R2 certification is no longer the right thing to do, redirecting the $35,000 it costs us each year to helping people who need computers, training, and support is more important.

That’s why we’ve decided to withdraw from R2 certification on April 4th, 2022. Withdrawal from the standard does not in any way affect our processes, security, environmental, or health safety values – all of which will continue to improve beyond the standard.

If you have any questions about our decision to withdraw from our R2 certification or would like more information about our electronic waste processors, please email give IT. get IT. Operations Director Chris Martin at cmartin@itec3.org.