About the Standard

The e-Stewards® Standard for Ethical and Responsible Reuse, Recycling, and Disposition of Electronic Equipment and Information Technology© Version 4.1 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 e-Stewards website. Only companies authorized by e-Stewards can make use of the e-Stewards name or logo.

Version 4.1 of the e-Stewards Standard:

  • Is designed for International use, and thus applicable in every country;
  • Requires simultaneous Certification to ISO 14001 or RIOS™ (Recycling Industry Operating Standard);
  • The framework of the standard is based on ISO 14001 for easy recognition by industry and by auditors;
  • Is copyrighted but is available free of charge on this website;
  • Applies to all facilities including ancillary sites of a company within a country and not just certain facilities as a national corporate standard;
  • Provides, as of July 1, 2022, enhanced data security provisions through a NAID AAA certification requirement;
  • Complies with international waste trade laws, including the most recent amendments to the Basel Convention, and OECD Council Decisions;
  • Contains best practices for environmental and health & safety management system norms, occupational health, social accountability, and privacy protection values;
  • Requires the destruction of all residual data except in the cases where the customer maintains equipment ownership.

To access V4.1 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, Version 4.0 published on February 25, 2020 and Version 4.1 published on February 22, 2022.

Currently, only V4.1 is in force, and e-Stewards Certified recyclers/refurbishers must be certified to this version. To access Version 4.1, click here. To access the transition plan from V4.0 to V4.1 and its implementation timeline, 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.

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, including certified e-Stewards Recyclers, those companies contracting e-Stewards certification, and from certifying and accreditation bodies.