How R2 Certified recyclers protect your organization…
Protecting From Unintended Consequences
At the beginning of the tech boom, few anticipated the unintended consequences that would follow. Rapidly changing technology and devices have improved the quality of life for millions around the globe. But the improper disposal of these electronic devices has also had devastating consequences on the environment and on the health and safety of workers and communities exposed to electronic waste. This has exposed businesses, schools and other organizations to environmental liabilities, data breaches, and damage to brand and reputation.
Limiting Your Environmental Liability
Under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA) which was enacted in 1980, the federal government is authorized to demand cleanup costs from all the companies that are deemed to have contributed to environmentally hazardous situations. Adhering to practices that were legal at the time does not provide immunity from future liability. Just ask paint manufacturers. Over the past 30 years they have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on clean up, mitigation and legal fees stemming from lead-based paints that were legally manufactured and sold decades earlier. The 2103 trial in California involving nearly 1 billion dollars in claims against five paint manufacturers illustrates the long lasting repercussions of environmental liability.
A similar crisis maybe looming for the IT and electronics industries, We now know that the improper disposal of electronics causes tremendous health and environmental hazards. Under CERLA (also known as Superfund), you are responsible for the safe handling of your decommissioned electronics throughout the entire chain of custody. Your responsibility doesn’t end when you transfer custody of your electronics to a recycler or broker. This leaves organization vulnerable to significant liability.
The Superfund Recycling Equity Act (SREA), which was released into law in 1999, offers a measure of protection for those who exercise due diligence when recycling electronics. Three basic conditions must be met to benefit from the protections of SREA:
• Does the material meet the definition of “recyclable” material?
• Does the transaction meet the conditions of “arranging of recycling”?
• Did you take the reasonable care to determine the environmental compliance status?
In other words, did you show due diligence prior to shipping?
The EPA has recognized the R2 Standard & Certification as a responsible recycling method of managing used electronics products (UEPs). R2 Certification ensures that third party auditors have examined all aspects of a recycler’s business, and that of their downstream vendors, to verify conformance to the R2 Standard. Entrusting your UEPs to R2 Certified companies that have taken the reasonable care to determine environmental compliance for their downstream, helps to protect your business from Superfund liability.
Providing Data Security
Regulation governing data security in banking, healthcare, retail and other industries make it imperative to have the right processes in place to protect the data your customers and of your own organization. Under FACTA and HIPAA regulations, entities may be subject to civil penalties for security breaches. Using an R2 certified company offers the following safeguards:
• Facility security and mandatory employee background checks.
• The best standards and processes for data destruction or sensitization of data sensitive devices.
Providing Brand and Logo Protection
The cost of negative press can cause irreparable damage to your company and result in loss of customers and new business. Major corporations, universities and government agencies have had their brand and logo negatively linked to e-waste scandals by national media outlets such as PBS/Frontline, CBS/60 Minutes and National Geographic. Entrusting your assets to R2 Certified companies minimizes your exposure to this type of damaging publicity.