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R2: A GLOBAL SOLUTION FOR A GLOBAL CHALLENGE challenge of making electronics sustainable isn’t just “an American thing,” or a “European issue.” With the globalization of electronics, it’s a challenge for nearly every country in every part of the world. This is especially true when you take a whole-lifecycle approach to sustainability like SERI does. That means ensuring everyone everywhere has access to responsible and sustainable reuse and recycling options. And that’s really R2’s mission. 


It’s true that R2’s origin story 15 years ago is rooted in building a solution to the growing e-waste challenge in the United States. But a more relevant story of R2 today is how it quickly evolved from being an American standard to the world’s most widely adopted standard for electronics sustainability, evidenced in the fact that today there are nearly 1,100 R2 Certified Facilities in 41 countries around the world. And while those numbers fluctuate depending on the day, the trend points to accelerating global growth, both in customers requiring R2 Certification of their vendors and in facilities becoming certified, especially since the rollout of R2v3. 


What’s behind the proliferation of R2 on a global scale? Well, we think there are two factors that have contributed to R2’s growth worldwide. 


First, the R2 Technical Advisory Committee (R2 TAC) takes an international perspective when thinking about best practices for electronics reuse and recycling. There’s an inherent understanding that customers don’t want a patchwork of standards and regulations to meet their global needs. Instead, there’s real power and value in a solution like R2 that harmonizes standards across geographic boundaries. 


A second factor behind R2’s global growth is the support structure that SERI continues to build behind R2. That includes translating the R2 Standard and supporting documents into additional languages; working to expand the number of ABs, CBs, and auditors throughout the world; engaging with national regulators to leverage the framework of R2 into policy; supporting facilities with resources and training to implement R2; and engaging through many conferences around the world to educate customers on the value of working with R2 Certified partners. 


When we say “R2 sets the standard for electronics reuse and recycling,” we’re proud of its global adoption and knowing that R2 really is setting the standard, on a global scale.

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