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Decoding ITAD Industry Certifications

ITAD industry certifications

If you are familiar with the ITAD industry, your eyes may glaze over when you see the lengthy alphanumeric identifiers used by most environmental and safety standards organizations. Clearly these standards and their corresponding certifications are important — every certified company gives those logos prime real estate on their websites. But what are you, as the customer, getting out of these certifications?

Read on for a breakdown of what’s behind some of the most critical ITAD industry certifications. 

Supporting environmental stewardship: R2:2013

The R2 standard ensures that your surplus IT assets are monitored through the screening, refurbishment and downstream recycling process. But, what is “R2?”

The R2 guidance provides a comprehensive electronics recycling standard, taking into account every aspect of the ITAD process. The Sustainable Electronics Recycling International organization houses this comprehensive guidance, providing ongoing updates and improvements. The most recent version is R2:2013.

R2:2013 covers all aspects of the ITAD process, including data security, tracking, data destruction and recycling. It emphasizes worker safety as well as environmental considerations. An R2:2013 certification signals that you are partnering with an IT asset disposal service that has committed to a responsible process from intake to final asset disposition.   

Ensuring appropriate security measures: NIST 800-88 

The R2 standard requires implementation of the NIST 800-88 Guidelines for Media Sanitization. In the realm of national standards, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) sets standards for industry and science, in areas including manufacturing, environment and energy, and cyber security. NIST 800-88 sets out practical standards for wiping sensitive data from electronics, thus promoting both data security and efficiency.  

Requiring compliance with the NIST 800-88 is another way the R2 standards set a high benchmark for R2-certified ITAD companies. Knowing that your surplus computers and HDDs are screened through the NIST 800-88 guidelines provides another layer of reassurance that your vendor takes data security seriously.

Materials management safety concerns: ISO 14001

Standards unify a multitude of processes worldwide to facilitate international trade. ISO 14001 sets the gold standard for environmental management systems in the global ITAD industry.

The International Organization for Standardization, known as the ISO, is a non-governmental organization based in Geneva with a membership of 163 national standards groups. This structure allows experts to share their knowledge to create voluntary standards. ISO standards support uniform quality and safety across businesses worldwide.

ISO 14001 provides holistic guidelines for all aspects of environmental management systems. It covers environmental auditing and evaluation, and product standards. An ISO 14001-certified company commits to continual improvement of their processes and an innovative approach to environmental issues.

Valuing the ITAD workforce: OHSAS 18001

An occupational­ health and safety certification ensures that you are partnering with an organization that prioritizes worker safety — a key component of well managed IT recycling. Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series 18001provides an international standard for workplace health and safety, protecting employees by identifying and managing workplace hazards.

Compliance with OHSAS 18001 demonstrates a commitment to employees to ensure a safe workplace. This, in turn, lowers costs and provides you with more value.  

With this insight into some of the major ITAD industry standards, you won’t just be checking boxes when looking for a properly certified ITAD vendor.

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