About the Standard

The e-Stewards® Standard for Ethical and Responsible Reuse, Recycling, and Disposition of Electronic Equipment and Information Technology© Version 4.0 is a comprehensive set of performance requirements created specifically for the electronics recycling, refurbishment, and IT asset disposition industry, to ensure the highest levels of social and environmental protection.

The Standard is the basis for the accredited e-Stewards Certification program and was developed by interdisciplinary stakeholders, representing experts, and leaders in the field and within the recycling industry.  The e-Stewards Certification program and Standard is owned and administered by Basel Action Network; all relevant information regarding the e-Stewards program can be found on this the e-Stewards Website. Only e-Stewards Certified companies can make use of the e-Stewards name or logo.

Some of the attributes of version 4.0 of the e-Stewards Standard are as follows:

  • Designed for International use, and thus applicable in every country;
  • Requires simultaneous Certification to ISO 14001 and is based on its framework for easy recognition by industry and by auditors;
  • The standard copyrighted but is available free of charge on this website;
  • A national corporate standard that applies to all facilities of a company within a country and not just certain facilities;
  • A more streamlined, less prescriptive text when compared with V3.1 resulting in a shorter and easier to read standard while retaining the same rigor;
  • Providing, as of July 1, 2022, enhanced data security provisions through a NAID AAA certification requirement;
  • Compliant with international waste trade laws, including the most recent amendments to the Basel Convention, and OECD Council Decisions;
  • Containing best practices for environmental and health & safety management system norms, occupational health, social accountability, and privacy protection values.

To access the transition plan requirements from V3.1 to V4.0 of the e-Stewards Standard click here.

Versions of the Standard

Since its inception in 2009, the standard has undergone three full revisions. Version 2.0 was published on November 1, 2013, Version 3.0 published on March 15, 2017, and Version 4.0 published on February 25, 2020.

Currently, only V3.1 and V4.0 are in force and e-Stewards Certified recyclers/refurbishers can be certified to either of these versions. However, V3.1 will sunset on August 24, 2021, at which point all e-Stewards Certified recyclers/refurbishers will need to be certified to V4.0. To access Version 3.1 of the Standard click here. To access Version 4.0 click here.

Sanctioned Interpretations

The e-Stewards Standard is a living document and is updated as needed with relevant information to reflect changing best practices and industry norms. Between publications of full revisions of the standard, formal changes are published as needed to update or clarify the standard. These formal changes are called Sanctioned Interpretations (SI). All organizations seeking certification must meet requirements of both the current e-Stewards Standard and the current e-Stewards Sanctioned Interpretations of that standard.

Sanctioned Interpretations to Version 4.0: Sanctioned Interpretations will be integrated into the official updated standard, and will be subsequently renumbered (Version 4.1, 4.2, etc.) to reflect the addition of SIs in the document and the most recent version of the Standard. These new updates to Version 4.0 will be made available on the e-Stewards website.

Public comment period for Draft Sanctioned Interpretations: When a new draft of Sanctioned Interpretations is being considered, language may be drafted by the e-Stewards Technical Committee, or by the e-Stewards program administrator (BAN) as appropriate. Draft Sanctioned Interpretations (DSI) are made available on the website for 30 days to seek input from the public, certified e-Stewards Recyclers, those contracted e-Stewards certification from certifying and accreditation bodies.