Wells Fargo, Staples, Bank of America and Alcoa are among the companies to exclusively use e-Stewards recyclers to ensure toxic electronic wastes are not exported to developing countries, processed with child or prison labor, or dumped in solid waste landfills, the standard and certification organization says.
This week marks the launch of the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronic Equipment Version 2.0. The environmental, health and safety, and data security management system standard was created specifically for the electronics recycling and asset recovery industries and is the basis for the accredited e-Stewards Certification program.
E-Stewards says the new version of the standard includes enhanced measures to protect private data on digital memory, something extremely important to large enterprise companies.
Version 2.0, the first formal revision of the standard, replaces the first edition as of May 1, 2015. Until May 1, 2014, companies seeking certification or recertification may choose to be audited to the updated version or Version 1.0, published in July 2009.
Alcoa vice president and chief sustainability officer Kevin McKnight says the program helps it capture and extend the value of aluminum, a recyclable material used to produce high-tech consumer electronics.
Additionally, the e-Stewards Enterprise program’s third-party verification helps Wells Fargo show that its e-waste management standards align with best practices, says Stephanie Rico, the bank’s vice president of environmental affairs.
The e-Stewards Standard, written for international use, is consistent with international waste trade laws, social accountability standards, and environmental and health and safety management system norms. ISO 14001, the global standard for environmental management systems, is fully embedded within the e-Stewards Standard, allowing companies to achieve simultaneous certification to both ISO 14001 and the e-Stewards Standard.
More than 75 major corporations and cities support e-Stewards, and 70 environmental groups worldwide. Currently consumers and enterprises can choose from more than 126 e-Stewards certified recycling facilities with 88 more coming within a few months, the organization says.
In addition Staples has agreed to accept e-waste dropped off at one of its more than 1,500 retail locations in the US for free, and deliver it only to an e-Stewards Certified recycler.
Samsung received the inaugural eCycling Leadership Award last month from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) for leading recycling efforts in the electronics industry. Samsung collected and responsibly recycled more than 92.5 million pounds of e-waste in 2012 and more than 300 million pounds of e-waste since its Samsung Recycling Direct program began in 2008.