There are essentially three areas of costs to be considered when estimating the total cost to become a Certified e-Stewards Recycler:
- Internal development costs (Recycler internal cost)
- Marketing and Licensing Fee (Fees paid to BAN)
- Audit and Certification Cost (Paid to the Certification Body)
1. Internal development costs include the cost of developing and implementing the management system that will be certified. If the organization is already ISO 14001 certified, the time and cost to develop the e-Stewards management system is greatly reduced. An organization may use its own resources in the development phase, or hire a trained and qualified consultant to assist.
Development often begins with a “gap analysis.” This exercise defines the work to be done to upgrade the existing system to the e-Stewards Standard including the required ISO 14001 environmental management system. Internal development costs may also include a Pre-Assessment audit, conducted by the certification body or another third party. A Pre-Assessment audit is basically a “dry-run” of a certification audit. Audit time and cost are variable for Pre-Assessments, depending upon the level of rigor agreed between the recycler and the auditor. Pre-Assessment audits can be useful to prepare for the certification audit, and understand what work must be done to assure a satisfactory audit result.
2. An annual Marketing and Licensing fee is paid by the recycler to BAN to provide sales and marketing support to certified e-Stewards Recyclers. The fee helps pay for an integrated promotional campaign that drives business to e-Stewards Recyclers. An e-Stewards ToolBox is available exclusively to e-Stewards Recyclers via a pass-coded webpage and contains valuable sales and marketing support tools for using the e-Stewards brand to grow business. The cost to an individual recycler is determined by its annual revenues coming from e-recycling activities from all of its sites. The fee formula is on a sliding scale, recognizing a company’s inherent ability to afford e-Stewards certification. All new e-Stewards Recyclers pay a one-time Initiation Fee @ 50% of the annual Marketing & Licensing Fee (not to exceed $10k) upon execution of a contract with a Certifying Body. This enables recyclers in the process of certifying to become listed on the e-Stewards.org website and begin receiving recognition while in the process of becoming certified. The Marketing and Licensing Agreement is available by contacting email@example.com.
3. Audit and Certification Costs are largely governed by international rules for certification bodies and are related to the number of “man-days” required to conduct the audit. The number of auditor-days is mainly determined by three variables: (a) the number of employees working for the recycler, (b) the number of sites to be certified, and (c) whether an ISO 14001 certified system is already in place. If an ISO 14001 certification is already in place, one can expect a reduction in audit time and cost of about 50% as compared with an audit of a similar organization without ISO 14001 certification. The average audit man-day cost is about $1300/day, and there will normally be additional administrative and auditor travel costs. If a return visit for the clearance of non-conformance is required, additional fees will be incurred. The best way to get an accurate estimation of costs is to speak directly with the e-Stewards accredited certification bodies themselves. Contact the Certifying Bodies for estimates.
Return on Investment
While there is a cost in becoming e-Stewards certified, we believe that this may be one of the most important investments that a recycler can make. Once certified, you will benefit from the full marketing support of BAN, which should lead to higher volumes of e-waste being directed to your company. Higher growth should result in higher profits that should easily cover the initial costs of certification.
U.S. Manufacturing Extension Partnerships
A NJ based e-Stewards Recycler recently received funding from the state Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) for assistance in preparing for ISO 14001 certification. Contact the MEP in your state by visiting their website. The MEP should be aware of grants available and able to offer assistance for applying.
U.S. Government funds
Securing government funds to cover e-Stewards certification costs is exactly what a Washington based not-for-profit e-Stewards Recycler has done successfully, through the Workforce Investment Act. The recycler got 100% of certification costs covered, including the cost of a consultant to help with ISO 14001, etc.
Contact your state’s Department of Commerce (or equivalent) and ask which local agencies are responsible for implementing WIA programs. The WIA funds do have certain objectives, and in the case of the non-profit, it was their volunteer program that trains a large group of underserved portions of the population (homeless, at risk youth, chronically unemployed) that
matched with the WIA objectives.
If your business model does not support WIA objectives, you are still in the right place w/your state commerce department. Ask what other funds might be available for recycling, small businesses, green businesses, etc. With the current economic climate, there are many business support programs available to preserve and grow the employment base.
For more details about WIA, click here
Canadian Funding Opportunities
Environment Canada has an EcoAction Community Funding program that specifically funds non-profits with programs that foster a clean environment. Another is Community Action Programs for the Environment (CAPE) which supports a variety of types of organizations.