The e-Stewards Standard

Key Topics of The Standard

Data Security

Now a pre-requisite to becoming e-Stewards Certified, the NAID AAA Certification holds our processors to some of the highest standards for data security in the industry. Recognizing this growing concern and importance, we rely on i-SIGMA’s NAID Certification to not only provide the foundation for secure data destruction, but also for proper facility security, physical security of data-containing materials, and background checks of employees handling customer data. i-SIGMA furthermore provides their own auditors separate from the standard certifying bodies, which ensures that e-Stewards certified processors can be trusted and verified to properly handle data-containing equipment.

Downstream Due Diligence

All e-Stewards Certified Processors must properly vet their downstream vendors against requirements of the e-Stewards Standard. This includes verifying all Immediate Downstream Processors as well as further Downstream Processors throughout the recycling chain to ensure key aspects of managing end-of-life electronics including, but limited to, legality, data security, environmentally-protective processing, and proper management of hazardous materials. This due diligence must occur on a scheduled basis, and IDPs must be vetted and approved prior to initial shipments.

Legal Transboundary Movements

The e-Stewards Standard explicitly requires compliance with the Basel Convention regulations for international transboundary movements, therefore ensuring legality of shipments of hazardous materials for all parties involved – countries of export, transit and import. Requiring compliance with the Basel Convention, regardless of location of your facility, ensures that e-Stewards Certified Processors are keeping at-risk communities and environments safe from harmful materials and byproducts of unsafe processing.

Proper Reuse & Refurbishment

The e-Stewards Standard supports the waste management hierarchy, while ensuring responsibility throughout that minimizes negative externalities and doing so from a full life-cycle perspective. The reuse and refurbishment of capable electronics is essential to the life-cycle of electronic equipment and social impact. The reuse requirements within the e-Stewards Standard help to ensure only equipment with full functionality is being sold, donated, or reused, and that it is being done in compliance with data security, transboundary movement, and testing obligations.

Communications (Internal & External)

All decent relationships, professional or otherwise, rely on a basis of effective communication. The e-Stewards Standard aims to specify the basic needs that certified processors must have to provide this important communication, making sure to engage all levels of employment within an organization, to ensure transparency around the company’s operations, objectives, certifications, management systems, and training. In addition to the required internal communication, e-Stewards also requires communication with our processor’s surrounding communities or other interested parties, in the same practice as other major industry standards.

Continous Improvement

One obvious goal of any successful business: Continuous Improvement. The e-Stewards Standard and community builds upon this purpose, ensuring that the obligations within the e-Stewards Standard reflect the flexibility needed to ensure a successful business overall. The management system criteria within the Standard are made to provide opportunities for improvement by way of audits, inspections, or checklists, with a goal of the e-Stewards Program being to lift the industry to higher standards as a whole. In addition, our network of certified processors, Enterprises, and other associations are available to those in the program for positive discussions on how to continually improve our program and services offered.

Environmental Management Systems

The e-Stewards Certification program understands the need for flexibility and opportunity within the e-scrap and reuse industry, and therefore allows organizations to choose between ISO 14001 and RIOS as the base environmental management system for their facilities. This allows prospective e-Stewards the chance to tailor their certifications to those that match their compliance goals best. Organizations can also save on audit fees, as our Certifying Bodies have the ability to audit to both of these standards and thus may offer integrated e-Stewards and EMS audits.


The e-Stewards Standard is meant to be used within the e-Stewards Certification program to govern the responsible management of end-of-life electronic equipment. While there are several prerequisites to e-Stewards Certification, including NAID AAA Certification, organizations are offered the option to choose either ISO 14001 or RIOS certification as a base environmental management system. Those certified to e-Stewards have the ability to differentiate their services, create opportunities for improved compliance and risk reduction, all while reducing harmful exposures to not only their employees, but those abroad as well, as the e-Stewards Standard’s foundation is built on compliance with the international Basel Convention.

e-Stewards Standard Version 4.1

The latest version of the e-Stewards Standard in PDF format.

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 for the electronics recycling and IT asset disposition industry, to ensure the highest levels of social and environmental protection.

Sanctioned Interpretation

The latest Sanctioned Interpretations for the e-Stewards Standard in PDF format.

Between publications of full revisions of the standard, formal changes are published, called Sanctioned Interpretations (SI), as needed to update or clarify the standard. All organizations seeking certification must meet requirements of both the current e-Stewards Standard and the current e-Stewards Sanctioned Interpretations of that standard.

Version 4.1 Guidance Document

The latest version of the e-Stewards Standard Guidance Document in PDF format.

Provided to give interpretive guidance to the e-Stewards Standard. It is a living document with new guidance being added on an as-useful basis. Any stakeholder can contact e-Stewards and request guidance on any subject. The given guidance will then be considered for addition to this guidance document to help future
e-Stewards Certified Processors.

Certifying Bodies

These accredited certifying bodies are the organizations that certify your facility to the e-Stewards standard - the crucial step in becoming an e-Stewards processor. These CB's, once contracted, will independently audit and certify all of your processing and ancillary facilities

Perry Johnson Registrars

(Formerly SAI Global)


National Sanitation Foundation