The e-Stewards Certification program combines a highly rigorous, mainstream verification system with the highest standard for electronics recycling. This standard (the e-Stewards Standard for Responsible Recycling and Reuse of Electronics®) fully incorporates ISO 14001, the global standard for environmental management systems. All Certified e-Stewards Recyclers will therefore be both ISO 14001 certified and meet industry-specific requirements for globally responsible recycling and refurbishment of electronic equipment.
If a company or organization wishes to become certified, the following are steps typically taken to achieve e-Stewards certification. Details follow:
- Review the Standard and Sanctioned Interpretations which are important interpretations of and changes to the Standard that have been made since its inception
- Obtain and review the Marketing & Licensing Agreement by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
- Get quotes from Certifying Bodies to conduct the audits
- Evaluate costs and investigate avenues for financial assistance
- Prepare – Appendix A of the Standard is a Guidance Document, and Appendix C provides tools and resources to help you implement the Standard. e-Stewards Management System Implementation Training is also available for certifying recyclers.
- Schedule Stage 1 audit
- Address any issues identified
- Schedule Stage 2 audit
- Execute BAN’s Marketing and Licensing agreement
- Receive Certification
- Promote your company as a Certified e-Stewards Recycler!
Here are the details:
- Review the e-Stewards Standard and supporting materials. This should include reviewing the current Sanctioned Interpretations of the Standard, to understand any clarifications or changes to the Standard. Note: there is a fee for the full standard although you may view the free, non-ISO version for information which is for information purposes only.
- Review the requirements for multi-site organizations (see below), if applicable, and the e-Stewards Recycler Licensing Agreement with BAN, which is signed after the completion of the audit process
- Optional: conduct a gap analysis between your current system and operations and what is needed to operate in conformance with the e-Stewards Standard.
- Set up, document, and internally evaluate your environmental management system to operate in conformance with the e-Stewards Standard including ISO 14001. Operate your EMS long enough to obtain necessary records.
- 3-6 months prior to readiness for auditing, request bids from one or more e-Stewards Certification Bodies (CB) for auditing services, including all e-waste locations in developed countries, and the 3 year audit cycle (see “Multi-site e-Stewards Recyclers” below). If your organization is already ISO 14001 certified, request information on transferring your existing ISO 14001 certification and therefore reduced costs for your initial e-Stewards audit.
- Contract with a CB of choice and schedule the Stage 1 audit, to determine readiness for the Stage 2 audit.
- Schedule and complete the Stage 2 audit, and resolve all non-conformities identified during the audit. This may require a return audit.
- Sign a marketing and licensing agreement with BAN, and pay an annual fee based on annual revenue generated by e-waste operations. Plan your marketing strategy, with support from BAN.
- Receive accredited certification of operations to ISO 14001 and e-Stewards Standard.
- Begin marketing your operation(s) as a certified e-Stewards company.
After initial certification, auditors return annually at a minimum, to perform surveillance audits (at lower costs) and to ensure consistent conformity with the Standard over time. The certification is for a three years period, as is typical for ISO certifications. After this, a new 3 year audit cycle begins.
Multi-site e-Stewards Recyclers:
Companies/organizations with e-waste recycling operations at multiple locations are required to have all locations certified to the standard within 18 months of the issuance of the first certificate for any individual site, and must commit to and contract with its certifying body for certification of all its operational sites at the outset. This certification can be held either in the form of individual site certificates or in a single multi-site certificate which encompasses all sites.
e-Stewards program costs
There are three costs associated with e-Stewards Certification:
- Internal preparation costs
- Contracting with a Certifying Body for the audits
- The Marketing and Licensing Fee required to use the e-Stewards brand
For complete information on evaluating costs, see e-Stewards Recycling Certification Costs.