Microsoft, Sony and Panasonic commit to more responsible recycling
Microsoft, Panasonic, Xerox and Sony America have teamed up to back a new programme to encourage more reuse and responsible recycling of used consumer electronics goods.
They are among 10 founding partners of the R2 Leader programme, launched earlier this week by US not-for-profit organisation Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI). In signing up to the programme, companies commit to support R2 certified electronics refurbishment and recycling.
Programme partners will also take a leadership role in a project to advance responsible reuse/recycling on a global level - for example, by funding pilot projects in developing countries or creating new schemes for electronics collection, refurbishment or recycling.
SERI has recently taken over management of the R2 standard, which was created in 2008 through a multi-stakeholder process that included electronics manufacturers, recycling companies, and the US Environmental Protection Agency.
It is recognised globally and covers environmental, worker health and safety issues for the electronics refurbishing and recycling industry. Around 540 facilities across 17 countries are currently R2 certified.
Electronics recyclers who adhere to the standard electronics recycler must state how they manage used and end-of-life electronics equipment, components and materials in accordance with the waste hierarchy. They must prioritise reuse where possible and not direct material to incineration, energy recovery or landfill unless absolutely necessary.
Earlier this month edie reported how various consumer electronics brands including Microsoft were criticised for not reporting transparently enough on their sustainability commitments. It is hoped this new initiative will go some way to addressing these issues.
Commenting on the new coalition, SERI executive director John Lingelbach said: "Since the creation of the R2 standard we have consistently heard from companies and organisations that wanted to support reuse and recycling efforts. Working in tandem with these leaders who share our vision will significantly accelerate progress in developing responsible e-waste reuse and recycling policies, programs and facilities."