“We choose to go to the Moon…and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.”
— John F. Kennedy – 1962As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the first crewed mission to land on the Moon, the speech John F. Kennedy gave when he initiated the program in 1962 still resonates: we did it not choose the goal because it was easy, but because in meeting it we would “organize and measure the best of our energies and skills.” Companies all follow internal processes and standards as a way to “organize their skills” – and use management systems to ensure compliance. Many also choose to have these systems and processes certified, both to measure and ensure success and to have proof of legal compliance. As you might expect, IT Asset Disposition companies adhere to a broad range of standards, with most companies holding some or all of these certifications: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, ISO 27001, TAPA FSR-Class A, and e-Stewards® or R2. Those last two are of particular interest. Both e-Stewards and R2 are environmental standards, with e-Stewards recognized as the more rigorous of the two. E-Stewards is third-party audited certification program developed by the Basel Action Network (BAN) with the help of industry leaders plus data security and environmental experts, and is supported by over 70 environmental organizations as well as major corporations and cities. So why would a company hold both certifications? If a company’s processes, practices, and systems all support an e-Stewards certification, why would they certify some locations to R2? There’s an easy answer: to date, qualified auditors to certify locations outside the U.S. simply haven’t been available, and the cost to send auditors around the world is high. As a result, many global ITAD companies have chosen to certify all locations to a single standard – R2 – for consistency. Since Ingram Micro ITAD has been strongly committed to the e-Stewards standard for years, we chose the more complex path of certifying to e-Stewards in the U.S. and to R2 in the rest of the world. But then we asked ourselves, is holding two levels of certification truly the best way to serve our multinational clients? Since we already had the processes and controls in place to meet the e-Stewards standard at our global processing centers, why not instead work with BAN on the logistics necessary to expand the network of BAN-recognized auditors beyond North America? So, while the task isn’t as daunting as landing a man on the moon, Ingram Micro is launching a global initiative within our industry to foster expansion for e-Stewards certification beyond the United States. We are undertaking this project not because it is easy, but because it’s a goal worth pursuing that will benefit our clients, our industry, and our planet. This effort is consistent with our ongoing commitment to providing the most responsible level of ITAD services to our clients, and further details will be forthcoming over the next few months.