The R2 Standard – establishes responsible recycling practices for the recycling of electronics globally. By certifying to this standard through an accredited third-party Certification Body, electronics recyclers can help prospective purchasers of their services make informed decisions and have increased confidence that used and end-of-life electronic equipment are managed in an environmentally responsible manner, protective of the health and safety of workers and the public, and that all data on all media devices is secure until destroyed.

Thus, certification to R2 allows electronics recyclers to highlight their value to customers, employees, their community and the public.

R2 is not intended to be an EH&S Management System by itself. R2 requires a company to be certified to ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 OR to RIOS (Recycling Industry Operating Standard).


  • Promotes safe and effective recovery and reuse of electronic equipment
  • Guards downstream control of the recycling chain
  • Minimizes environmental and public health risks
  • Demonstrates compliance with domestic and international laws
  • Minimizes liability and encourages reduced insurance costs for recyclers
  • Assists original equipment manufacturers (OEM’s) with due diligence for their end-of-life electronics
  • Instills public confidence through certified third party review


R2 Certification

R2 recycling plants are those plants dedicated and committed to the responsible disposal and recycling of electronics and electronic components. Therefore, it’s a very specific set of standards for a niche market. However, as niche of a market as electronic recycling may be, it’s an extremely critical industry for our society to properly move forward and continue to make technological advancements. 

While the latest update to the R2 standards came in 2013, there is some thought that the next iteration will be paired with ISO standards, and possibly the ISO standards that fall into the 9001 family – quality management. 

Obtaining R2 Certification

Upon submitting the application, along with the annual fee, the plant that seeks the R2 certification has a few more steps to take before they can claim themselves R2 certified. 

After submitting the application the recycler is required to contact a certification body. These are third-party-organizations that conduct an external audit of the systems, processes, and documentation standards that exist within any company or recycling plant in question. 

Once the audit is passed, the recycler is R2 certified and gains all of the benefits that come with. However, it’s important to note that passing the audit once doesn’t suffice. After a recycling plant achieves R2 certification, they must undergo continuous auditing on a scheduled, but random, basis. 

These continuous audits ensure that the recycling plant maintains its standards in operating efficiently, safely, and with preservation and sustainability both in mind. 

How long does it take?

Okay with the annual fee and the audits out of the way, how long is it going to take to become an R2 certified recycler? Well, the answer can vary depending on the size and state of your organization. 

However, don’t start sweating, the R2 certification process can take as little as 4 weeks. That’s really just one month’s time for your organization to seek and obtain an R2 certification. 

How much does it cost?

Nothing in life comes free, that’s a lesson many of us learn as early as grade-school. However, some costs in life are investments, and others are simply expenses. The difference is that an expense will depreciate in value, or steadily decline in worth; an investment, on the other hand, has the potential to grow in value, covering not only it’s own cost, but then generating additional revenue through multiple avenues as well. 

Investing in the R2 recycling certification process sets up systems, processes, and procedures within the recycling plant that address operational efficiency and cost-reduction issues. This, in turn, leads to a more cost-effective operation from top to bottom. 

That being said, the R2 certification requires the application, and then a $1,500 annual fee. This fee drops down to $1,000 annually for tax-exempt organizations such as non profits. After the application and the annual fee are submitted, the certification process can begin. 


The R2 recycling standards are a series of standards that electronic recyclers can obtain. The standards address a series of industry-regulations, establish industry best-practices within your organization, and prioritize the health and safety of the employees within your organization as well. 

All-in-all there is a myriad of external and internal benefits to obtaining R2 certification. For more information on R2 certification and responsible recycling practices, visit Glacier Consulting and get in touch with an expert ISO consultant today. 

The current version of R2 is R2:2013 with an update called R2v3 that release in July of 2020 Please follow us on social media as we will communicate regularly about this update!