Staying Balanced with Standards and Certifications
You’ve likely noticed the acronyms sprinkled around our website: NAID, HIPPA, DOD, ISO... Maybe you were impressed, but the real reason they’re there is to assure. Each of these standards and certifications uphold our own commitment to Lean principles like Continuous Improvement, Standardization and Sustainability.
The assurance is this: that while we always hold ourselves accountable to our customers and vendors, we also enlist outside agencies to make sure we measure up to or exceed those standards. It keeps us in balance with our own critical
So, let’s get to it. Exactly what’s behind those initials anyway?
The National Association for Information Destruction sets high standards for how a company should dispose of media containing data. That includes hard drives, film, CDs, etc. NAID extends their standards to the business site as well as each employee, with particular attention paid to maintaining a secure chain of custody to ensure privacy until the data is destroyed. Record keeping, documentation of processes, background checks and other measures further ensure that a customer can release their media with an NAID certified vendor without concern that their data will be compromised.
“With the news filled with stories of security and data breaches, we’re keenly aware of the importance of our role in protecting our customers’ data,” explained Lisa Weaving, Quality Environmental, Health and Safety Director at ER2. “These standards help us improve as a company to live our mission, but also give our partners a level of assurance that we are committed to do whatever it takes to protect their data.”
Literally what makes up the majority of our name, the Responsible Recycling (R2) certification (R2:2013) requirements are comprehensive, covering environmental, health and safety, and data security processes. To further ensure the integrity and strength of the Standard, R2:2013 now requires facilities to obtain certification to one or more generally accepted environmental, health and safety management systems.
The certification specifically requires that international trade in used and end-of-life electronics be conducted legally and responsibly. Anyone would hope that this is the least their partners would adhere to, but not all will. Compliance includes documentation, and asks us to follow the laws and regulations of all importing, transit, and exporting countries, not just those in the US. So when we work with downstream vendors to recycle materials, they also must maintain certifications to in turn maintain the promise that nothing they receive will end up in a landfill, either here in the U.S., or elsewhere in the world where regulations aren’t as stringent.
OHSAS 18001: 2007
Occupational Health Safety Assessment Series standards are focused on work practices and environments to ensure, as its name suggests, the health and safety of our workforce. A safe workforce leads to better results for customers, even though the two might not be apparently related. When workers are guided and protected by OHSAS standards, 79 percent of them say it helps them stay compliant and 64 percent report that it reduces the likelihood of mistakes. On the practical side, it also protects a business, which keeps them serving customers, safely, for years to come.
ISO: The Grandfather of Management Standards
Instituted first in 1947, the International Standardization Organization (that’s a mouthful!) served to harmonize product, and later, management systems with a focus on the customer. Even though it was renamed to the International Organization for Standardization in 1987, the ISO acronym stuck.
With the 9001 standard, the goal is continuous improvement and processes from top management to all levels of an organization. What all that means for ER2 is that everyone we employ is trained in a process designed to produce quality goods and services.
The 14001 standard of ISO is related to the environment, something that is near and dear to our hearts. Along with our R2 certification, it holds us to a standard regarding our final disposal of what we don’t reuse or refurbish. Along with us, our downstream vendors go to the same lengths to keep materials from ending up in landfills. Our zero-landfill pledge goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to eliminating waste, and we voluntarily submit to review by ISO 14001 to make sure we’re doing everything to sustain and improve our environment.
In addition, regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency are strictly adhered to, whether it involves the materials we handle, commodities we recycle or practices we engage in to dispose of electronics. It’s why televisions and old-school CRT monitors incur a cost, as the labor it takes to responsibly remove hazardous materials like mercury and cadmium are expensive, but worth it.
Widely known by its acronym, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act standards encompass a wide range of health insurance and information protections for patients. We’re focused on the second title under this act, which prevents fraud and maintains the privacy and the security of a patient’s health information. We’re proud to maintain customers in the healthcare field, as it is a testament to the trust that we’re given to securely manage such sensitive material.
And the list continues with:
NIST SP 800-88 - media sanitization standards
Gramm-Leach-Bliley - design, implement and maintain safeguards to protect customer financial information.
Sarbanes-Oxley - maintains the highest accounting standards
Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act (ITAD); Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACTA); PCI Compliance Data Security Standard; Fair Credit Reporting Act - credit information is protected for customers’ reassurance by secure processes to prevent data breaches or fraud, and programs to detect fraud are used to safeguard customers
US Safe Harbor Provisions - practices that ensure the security of data from European citizens
NSA, FED Security Regulations; Homeland Security Information Sharing Act; USA Patriot Act - we meet the standards in secure handling of government agency data
If it sounds like we’re into extra credit, we are guilty as charged. However, going the extra mile is part of our culture, and an effort that we gladly break a sweat over. Our partners, team members, community and environment see these measures as an investment in sustainable growth, and we feel that lifts everyone’s standards.