In May 2019, AGI, the parent company of AGParts Education, was awarded ISO 14001, 45001, R2 certifications. Under the leadership of Jeff Fitch, AGI Facilities Manager, AGI launched a dedicated Recycling Center around the same time.
While these standards represent AGI’s commitment to sustainability and the health and safety of their employees and communities, it was not a cultural shift for the company.
“It’s really about the culture of the company—the care and commitment we have at AGI to the environment and to the health and safety of our employees and our community,” Fitch said.
Indeed—AGI’s commitment to the environment was already engrained in the culture of the company. The Recycling Center was a unification of a longstanding effort and system already present within the company. For years, AGI collected recyclable parts at remote stations throughout the facility. The center simply streamlined that process.
With on an emphasis on diverting as many materials as possible to the recycling stream under a focus material management plan, AGI’s five focus materials are CRT monitors, mercury-containing devices, circuit boards, batteries, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
The Recycling Center is a dedicated room specifically designed for the collection of focus materials and other recyclable parts. Clad with green walls and a collection of labeled cardboard bins that line those walls, AGI collects the following materials for recycling:
- AC adapters,
- Small components
- Circuit boards
- Hard drive disposal (HDD),
- Whole unit
- Optical drive
- Hard plastic
- Track pads
“We’ve really engrained recycling into the company itself,” Fitch said, which is why AGI also recycles cardboard, paper, and plastic, in addition to all materials in the Recycling Center.
The Recycling Center is part of a larger goal within AGI: “We only have one planet that we live on and what we are trying to do here is reduce that impact on environment and our planet,” Fitch said.
For more information the Recycling Center, watch our video.
AGParts Education supports over 6,000 school districts across the nation with their 1:1 Chromebook initiatives. Orders ship same day. From tech buyback to Chromebook parts supply, find out how we can help your school today. Contact us today!
AGParts Education and its sister company, AGiRepair, were awarded ISO 14001, 45001, and SERI R2 certifications in May 2019. These prestigious certifications are internationally recognized standards, applying to organizations that have demonstrated environmental management, occupational health and safety management, and responsible recycling systems. Today, we’ll take a closer look at ISO, the certificates, and their meanings.
What is ISO?
ISO, which stands for the International Organization for Standards, develops and publishes international standards. A standard is internationally recognized as the most effective way of doing something. That something ranges from manufacturing a product, managing a process, delivering a service, or supplying materials. Standards are created and curated by thought leaders in various industries.
What is ISO 14001?
The ISO 14001 family of standards deals solely with environmental performance, with all standards culminating in the efforts to protect the environment and fight climate change. First launched in 1996, the standard was last revised in 2015 to reflect the many challenges faced by organizations in meeting new environmental policies and expectations.
This standard is a tool that supports advancement in environmental efficiencies and helps manage environmental requirements. It is frequently used by organizations in continuous improvement initiatives. While holders of the certificate satisfy legal requirements, benefits of the standard extend deeper into the roots of organizations. The standard drives and organizes employee engagement in meeting environmental commitments. Achieving the certificate also separates organizations—achieving the certificate requires complying to a set of specific guidelines. The standard’s importance is evident by that fact that more than 300,000 organizations globally have adopted and achieved this certificate.
What is ISO 45001?
The ISO 45001 is first international standard for occupational safety. It is the minimum standard for occupational safety within an organization, laying the foundation for organizations to effectively manage their occupational safety program. It combines the success of several earlier international standards including OSHAS 18001 and the International Labour Organization’s ILO-OSH Guidelines.
The standard seeks to improve employee safety, and reduce and mitigate workplace risks, in an effort to create a safe and healthy work environment. The standard promotes open communication between management and workers to collaboratively create a robust safety culture. It also helps organizations effectively plan, manage, and review their safety performance. Like the ISO 14001 standard, it is also the catalyst for organization’s continuous improvement efforts.
This standard also helps to satisfy legal requirements, but its benefit is far greater than that. Organizations holding this certificate acknowledge and pledge that the health and safety of their employees is key—there is nothing more important that ensuring the safety of their employees by creating the safest working environment possible, both in mindset and physically.
What is R2?
R2 is the electronics recycling industry’s leading certification for responsible recycling practices. R2 is governed by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (SERI). According to their website, SERI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing safe and sustainable reuse and recycling of used electronics through consensus-driven standards. Their core focus is to administer and continually improve the R2 standard.
First introduced in 2008 and last updated in 2013 with stricter guidelines, the R2 standard is the framework for environmental, employee health and safety in the electronics refurbishing and recycling industry. This certificate is especially crucial as there is very little regulation in the electronics recycling industry within the United States currently. When an organization claims to adhere to all state and federal laws regarding information technology asset disposition (ITAD), it, unfortunately, carries little weight. These laws do not address the actual recycling process. Resultantly, there is no way for the consumer to ensure the device has been handled properly.
The R2 certificate clarifies this uncertainty. Organizations that hold the R2 certificate comply with voluntary industry standards set forth by independent auditors. This ensures that a stringent set of guidelines have been followed during the recycling and refurbishing process, including best practices for the device and the employee’s safety.
What does this mean for you and your school district?
When you partner with AGiRepair or AGParts Education on device buyback or any of our other K-12 technology solutions, you can rest assured that all electronic products are reused and recycled in a way that promotes resource preservation, the well-being of the natural environment, and the health and safety of workers and communities.
Our ISO and R2 certifications offer many advantages and benefits, such as:
- Protecting our employees, customers, and the planet
- Protecting data
- Reduces third-party liability risks
- Compliant with all international import/export laws
- Preserves resources and embraces sustainability
- Fostering new innovation and technology
AGParts Education is a dedicated initiative of AGParts created to deliver high-quality support to schools across the United States for their Chromebook 1:1 Program and notebook computers. We’d love to help you develop your education technology program. Contact us today for more information!