What is it, and Why is it important?

Responsibly recycling and reusing mobile devices.

53.6 million tons of electronic waste were discarded by the world in 2019.⁸

Only 17.4% of that e-waste was recycled or reused.⁸

As electronic waste increasingly becomes a global problem, how do you ensure your company is doing its part for our world and future generations to come?

The demand for recycling and reuse of electronics is rising, and responsible recycling has become a critical factor in trusting your company is doing the right thing with its end-of-life devices.

What is SERI and R2 Certification?

Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI) is a nonprofit organization focused on minimizing environmental and health risks posed by used and end-of-life electronics while also maximizing the social and economic value provided by this equipment.¹

SERI is best known for its Responsible Recycling (R2) standard for electronics, working to reuse and recycle them in a way that preserves resources, the environment, and the health and safety of workers and communities.¹

Responsible Recycling (R2) results from a collaborative partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), state agency regulators, electronics recyclers, recycler customers, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), all focused on protecting the environment and companies involved.³

R2 is the most widely adopted standard for responsible reuse and recycling of used electronics.² It is easily the most sustainable method of handling end-of-life mobile devices.

R2 Certification is addressed and audited through specific process requirements:⁹

  • Downstream Recycling: Full management of specific equipment and materials.
  • Data Sanitization: Physical and logical data destruction to an unrecoverable state.
  • Testing & Repair: Extending the life of “working” electronics where possible.
  • Materials Recovery: Recovering electronic materials and components like copper, gold, circuit boards, and batteries.
  • Specialty Electronics: Coordination with channels and suppliers to reuse commercial-grade, non-consumer electronics.
  • Brokering: Responsible brokering of electronics and parts to downstream vendors.

R2 creates flexible solutions for facilities worldwide, addressing the entire device lifecycle, environmental health and safety, quality, and data security.²

Why is R2 Certification important?

Since SERI created its second version in 2013, R2 has been the most popular standard for recycling used and end-of-life devices. To date, there are more than 900 R2 Certified facilities, spanning across 28 countries and 13 regions.²

Over the years, it has become a truly circular lifecycle for electronics — maximizing value, extending device life, and reusing components or materials whenever feasible.³

R2 keeps electronic waste out of landfills by preserving resources and reducing the need to mine for new materials — reducing the overall human environmental footprint.³

R2 Certified facilities help protect the environment while also protecting businesses and their customers from data, health, safety, and environmental risks by issuing specific process requirements.²

As of June 2020, R2’s newest version, R2v3, has been recognized as an American National Standard (ANS) by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), an organization dedicated to enhancing the United States’ quality of life by facilitating standards and ensuring their integrity.² ⁶

Why should you partner with an R2 Certified organization?

Working with an R2 Certified organization ensures your device recovery program is environmentally responsible while benefiting your organization.

With increased health and safety initiatives and proper data destruction on electronics, your organization is protecting its valuable corporate data, customers, and employees, as well as the environment.

To do your part in protecting our world, R2 Certified partners give your company the confidence your devices are being responsibly reused or recycled at every step possible.²

R2 Certified facilities undergo proper education, implementation, evidence, and audits process to obtain and maintain their certifications. Frequent audits ensure Certified facilities follow process requirements focused on protecting the environment and companies from which they collect electronics.

Knowing you can trust your chosen partner to handle your end-of-life devices — from both data security and environmental perspectives — provides your company’s leadership and security professionals peace of mind.⁴ Selecting an R2 Certified device recovery partner provides your customers with confidence their vendor keeps its e-waste out of landfills — often a requirement of organizations’ sustainability initiatives.

You can find or confirm the R2 Certification of a chosen partner on the SERI website.⁷

Make an environmental impact with your device recovery program.

It is our responsibility as a community to protect our world for future generations. Responsibly recycling and reusing devices and electronics (such as smartphones and tablets) is a critical step toward initiating a circular economy. Working with an R2 Certified partner participating in the circular economy for your device recovery program will benefit the environment, as well as your business, employees, and customers.

Mobile reCell provides the only software-driven solution for corporate-owned mobile device recovery. Our R2 Certified partner, Ingram Micro Commerce & Lifecycle Services, enables a sustainable, secure, and automated path to repurpose, reuse and recycle mobile devices. Mobile reCell’s proprietary software provides visibility and detailed reporting through the entire device recovery process — device shipment tracking, functionality testing, NIST 800–88-compliant data destruction, cosmetic condition grading, and reselling or recycling.

Want to Learn More?
Visit us at mobilerecell.com to learn more about a mobile device recovery solution for your company.

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  1. SERI. About SERI. https://sustainableelectronics.org/about-story-and-mission/
  2. SERI. R2. https://sustainableelectronics.org/r2/
  3. SERI. R2 A Call to Action. https://sustainableelectronics.org/r2/a-call-to-action/
  4. SERI. Key Steps in the Certification Process. https://sustainableelectronics.org/key-steps-in-the-certification-process/
  5. SERI. Welcome to R2v3. https://sustainableelectronics.org/welcome-to-r2v3/
  6. ANSI. American National Standards. https://www.ansi.org/#collapse-8f4bad72-8747-4b35-a4c5-5beb9535722b
  7. SERI. Find R2 Certified Facilities. https://sustainableelectronics.org/find-an-r2-certified-facility/
  8. Unitar. Global E-Waste Surging: Up 21 Percent in 5 Years. https://unitar.org/about/news-stories/press/global-e-waste-surging-21-cent-5-years#:~:text=A%20record%2053.6%20million%20tonnes,discarded%20%E2%80%94%20mostly%20dumped%20or%20burned.
  9. SERI. Specialty Process Requirements. https://sustainableelectronics.org/specialty-process-requirements/