Tech Defenders, a company that focuses on the repurposing and remarketing of mobile electronic devices, was recently awarded the R2, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 certifications for its Grand Rapids, Mich., headquarters.
Being awarded an R2 certification means that a company has demonstrated that all electronic equipment is being recycled following the highest standards for environmental protection, data privacy and wiping, facility security and worker safety. The certification is issued by a cooperative of electronics recycling stakeholders including the Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI).
ISO 14001 focuses on environmental management systems, setting criteria under which a system is certified based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, and ISO 45001 is focused on occupational health and workforce safety. These certifications include extensive audits and continuous improvement of a company’s facility and provides transparency for companies and organizations looking to identify and control their environmental impact and ensure the security of their data or hardware upon retiring those devices.
“Our company has always practiced responsible disposal and reuse of retired products, but by obtaining these certifications, it provides our partners peace of mind that our company has undergone an extensive audit, which concludes that our procedures align with SERI and EPA standards,” said Connor Sweeney, chief operating officer of Tech Defenders, in a statement. “If you visit the Tech Defenders facility, you will find a number of safety and security measures in place throughout the facility: gated and badge-controlled entrance and exits, including metal detectors, dock security and security personnel to ensure data privacy and safety for our customers, employees and inventory.”
“Considering the sensitivity around private information and the negative effect of e-waste has on our environment, it is important to choose a partner that invests in certifying its process,” said Pete Terryn, senior director of operations at Tech Defenders, in a statement. “Obtaining these certifications was a long and tedious process, but it was important in providing transparency for current and future partners.”