Home Certification Standards

Environmental Management

Responsible Recycling (R2)

R2 is the industry-wide standard for controlling the disposal of electronic waste in a sustainable manner.

What is Responsible Recycling?

The Responsible Recycling certification is the industry-wide standard for controlling the disposal of electronic waste in a sustainable manner. R2 certification is a voluntary set of best practices for the electronic waste industry facilitated by the U.S. EPA and recognized worldwide.

Accreditation requires the implementation of a system to track the downstream management of electronic equipment. An R2 accredited facility – be it an electronics collector, refurbisher, recycler, reseller or broker - should gain a clearer picture the impact its policies, procedures and practices have on: their business, their employee health and safety and their data security and the environment — both locally and internationally.

Helps you with

  • Dispose of electronic waste in a sustainable manner
  • Implement neccessary controls to achieve and maintain compliance
  • Streamline processes
  • Show your clients you've made a commitment 
  • Encourage and support best practice approach to recycling
  • Improve efficiency of electronics refurbishment and recycling program.

More about the Responsible Recycling scheme

Responsible Recycling, or R2, certification has emerged in recent years as the industry-wide standard for controlling the disposal of electronic waste (e-waste) in a sustainable manner. Obtaining R2 certification not only teaches you important best practices, but it shows your clients that you have made a commitment to doing what’s right for the planet.

As part of our comprehensive selection of certification services, NQA USA now offers businesses the opportunity to attain R2 recycling certification. Our network of highly-trained auditors are available to serve customers throughout the country and internationally.

Let us walk you through the registration process and help you implement the controls necessary to achieve and maintain compliance, streamline your processes, and improve the efficiency of your electronics refurbishment and recycling program.

The scope of the problem

Old, discarded and obsolete electronic devices are posing an increasingly significant problem in waste management. Electronic waste (e-waste) is the fastest-growing source of municipal waste in America, with an estimated 25 to 50 million metric tons produced each year. Devices containing hazardous focus materials including circuit boards, cathode ray tubes, mercury/PCBs and batteries all require special processing to dispose correctly.

In addition to the environmental impact, uncontrolled electronic waste disposal squanders money and assets. Cell phones and other devices containing gold, silver, copper, palladium and other precious metals that can be recycled are being thrown away. In fact, it is estimated that the United States throws away $60 million worth of gold and silver each year in the form old cell phones.

In the United States, all federal agencies are required to dispose of electronic waste through a third party recycler with R2 or equivalent certification. Similar mandates have been adopted at the state and municipal level and by some of the country’s largest corporations.

Getting certified to R2

R2 certification is a voluntary set of best practices for the electronic waste industry facilitated by the U.S. EPA and recognized worldwide. Accreditation requires the implementation of a system to track the downstream management of electronic equipment. An R2 accredited facility – be it an electronics collector, refurbisher, recycler, reseller or broker - should gain a clearer picture the impact its policies, procedures and practices have on:

  • their business
  • employee health and safety
  • data security and the environment — both locally and internationally.

Prerequisites to gaining R2 certification is registration to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 / ISO 45001 or RIOS. If you’re not currently registered, NQA can partner with you to help you achieve ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 / ISO 45001 certification along with R2.

Attaining R2 recycling certification is a multi-step process including an initial review of the systems you have in place at the policy level, a formal process audit which confirms that these policies are being implemented on a day-to-day basis and a final review by the certification committee.

Initial certification is good for three years, subject to the successful completion of annual surveillance audits. Once the three year period is up, you can apply for a recertification to maintain compliance.

We are currently accepting applications for registration and can walk you through every step of the review and certification processes. We have more than two decades of experience with international accreditation and offer competitive pricing for all services.

You’ll have a single point of contact to simplify communications while drawing from the collective resources of a knowledgeable team of experts who understand the R2 review process. To find out more about R2 certification, or about how NQA can help you, request your quote today.

A public listing of each organization NQA has certified to R2 is available here: SERI Database of R2 Certified Recyclers



Steps to Certification

  1. Step 1

    Complete a Quote Request Form so that we can understand your company and requirements. You can do this by completing either the online quick quote or the online formal quote request form. We will use this information to accurately define your scope of assessment and provide you with a proposal for certification.

  2. Step 2

    Once you’ve agreed your proposal, we will contact you to book your assessment with an NQA Assessor. This assessment consists of two mandatory visits that form the Initial Certification Audit. Please note that you must be able to demonstrate that your management system has been fully operational for a minimum of three months and has been subject to a management review and full cycle of internal audits.

  3. Step 3

    Following a successful two stage audit, a certification decision is made and if positive, then certification to the required standard is issued by NQA. You will receive both a hard and soft copy of the certificate. Certification is valid for three years and is maintained through a programme of annual surveillance audits and a three yearly recertification audit.

See more details

Ready to start your journey?

We'll give you a clear indication of the costs of gaining and maintaining certification.
Not ready yet? Call us at (800) 649-5289 or request a call back to discuss your certification requirements.