Friday, September 9, 2011
The Basel Action Network
The e-Stewards Program and Standard
- What is the e-Stewards Initiative?
- What is the e-Stewards Standard?
- How is the e-Stewards certification different than other electronics recycler certification programs?
- Does the e-Stewards Standard ban all exports of e-waste?
- Who runs the e-Stewards Standard and certification?
- Was the e-Stewards Standard created by a multi-stakeholder process?
- Is the e-Stewards program inclusive?
e-Stewards Certified Recyclers
- What is the e-Stewards Enterprise program?
- What are the requirements of an e-Stewards Enterprise?
- Why are companies interested in becoming an e-Stewards Enterprise?
The Basel Action network (BAN) is the world’s only organization focused on confronting the global environmental injustice and economic inefficiency of toxic trade (toxic wastes, products and technologies) and its devastating impacts.
BAN is a 501(c)3 charitable organization of the United States, based in Seattle, Washington
What is the mission of BAN?
BAN works to prevent the globalization of the toxic chemical crisis. We work in opposition to toxic trade in toxic wastes, toxic products and toxic technologies, that are exported from rich to poorer countries. We work to ensure national self-sufficiency in waste management through clean production and toxics use reductions and in support of the principle of global environmental justice — where no peoples or environments are disproportionately poisoned and polluted due to the dictates of unbridled market forces and trade.
What is the e-Stewards Initiative?
The e-Stewards Initiative is a not-for-profit market campaign by the Basel Action Network designed to provide consumers, recyclers and enterprises with environmentally and socially responsible solutions for used electronic equipment and waste.
At the core of the initiative is a detailed electronics recycling standard, which is based on international law. e-Stewards Recyclers conform to the e-Stewards Standard.
The e-Stewards Standard is the ONLY electronics recycling standard that prohibits the export of hazardous electronic waste from developed to developing countries. It is the ONLY standard that conforms to international law.
- The e-Stewards Standard implements international waste trade laws, requires ISO 14001 certification, and was written for international application.
- The e-Stewards Standard forbids the use of municipal waste systems as well as the use of prison labor for hazardous electronics.
- The e-Stewards Standard is held by a legal, public interest entity which ensures quality control, a regular and transparent updating process, a multidisciplinary Leadership Council and requires consistent professional training for all of its auditors and certifying bodies.
- The e-Stewards Initiative provides widespread promotion, including the e-Stewards Enterprise program, rewarding large corporate and institutional customers for using only e-Stewards Recyclers.
- e-Stewards is the only program created by, and with the support of, the environmental community and is now endorsed by over 70 environmental organizations around the world.
No. The standard is designed to be consistent with the Basel Convention and the Basel Ban Amendment to that United Nations Environment Program Convention. The e-Stewards Standard only bans defined hazardous wastes from being traded and only from developed to developing countries. Equipment exported for re-use must be tested for functionality if it contains hazardous materials. If it is functional then it can be exported as long as the receiving country allows it. Likewise, commodity materials and non-hazardous wastes such as scrap aluminum, glass, paper and plastics can be freely exported.
The Basel Action Network (BAN), a US-charitable organization, created the e-Stewards Standard and certification program at the request of leaders in the recycling industry.
The e-Stewards Standard is governed by BAN. The certification, however, is independent and is conducted by certifying bodies accredited by ANAB (ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board).
Yes, although not by a Standards Development Organization (neither R2 nor e-Stewards utilized a formal SDO process). To create the e-Stewards Standard, BAN worked with a wide variety of recyclers, asset recovery companies, and experts in health and safety, certification, and data security.
Yes. In August of 2010, BAN introduced the e-Stewards Leadership Council, which is currently comprised of representatives of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), recyclers, businesses, government, collectors, and non-governmental organizations. This group provides advisory oversight of the e-Stewards program, including the certification, the standard and marketing.
Yes. Since its official launch in April of 2010, more than 140 electronics recycling facilities are either certified today or have contracted with certification bodies to become certified. Major corporations, such as LG, Samsung, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, governments, such as King County and Santa Clara County, choose e-Stewards recyclers because it reduces their costs and offers them the highest assurances possible. The e-Stewards Certification is supported by over 70 environmental organizations including Greenpeace USA, Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Please see the most current list and a map here.
The e-Stewards Enterprise program recognizes, promotes and supports companies that make best efforts to use e-Stewards recyclers.
Enterprises must make good faith, commercially reasonable progress in pursuing vendors that are e-Stewards recyclers. And Enterprises must share information on that progress annually, under a NDA. All this provides a level of accountability necessary to ensure the Enterprise program remains a legitimate means of identifying the companies leading the reform of the e-waste recycling industry.
It makes good business sense. Enterprises receive these benefits:
Only an Enterprise can use the e-Stewards logo to rightly present itself, to the public, shareholders, employees and constituents, as an organization that is making the most globally responsible recycling decisions. The Enterprise designation is a credible, independent, third-party endorsement by a leading authority in electronic waste management, that you are doing the right thing with e-waste.
Enterprises garner brand equity by aligning themselves as an early adopter of an environmental reform endorsed by 70 environmental groups such as the NRDC and the Sierra Club.
Because the e-Stewards program is a recognized authority in e-waste recycling, the public pays attention to what they say. In presentations, press releases, interviews, an on their website, e-Stewards will promote Enterprises and ask that consumers support Enterprises — including your business. The e-Stewards website will highlight Enterprises and drive traffic to Enterprises’ websites, too.
Access to Resources
In sustainability presentations or reporting, only Enterprises can use photos, videos, data, reports and other resources available from the e-Stewards library. Only Enterprises enjoy access to a password-protected online “toolbox” of compliance information and best practices.
And, for Enterprises, the experts on the e-Stewards staff stand ready to offer counsel on policy construction and best practices — it is like having the world’s leading e-waste recycling authorities on retainer, at no added cost. This, alone, can be worth thousands of dollars.
Enterprises using e-Stewards recyclers can be sure that their electronics recycling will be handled responsibly, so these Enterprises reduce their in-house vendor qualification, due diligence and monitoring costs. Enterprises don’t have to use e-Stewards for all their electronics recycling, but the more they do, the more they save in these real costs.