A study conducted by the EPA reviewing the effects of both R2 and E-Stewards standards in the workplace found both sets of standards create a positive framework for the e-waste recycling industry. This study interviewed stakeholders about their opinions of the different standards programs and both programs’ auditing process.
An FAQ distributed by the EPA detailing the study writes, “Interview and audit findings suggest that the Standards have brought better order; better management; an increased awareness of the environmental, health and safety (EHS) risks associated with electronics recycling; and an improved awareness of regulatory requirements and best practices to the electronics industry.”
This study took place between March 2013 and May 2015, and interviewed 39 stakeholders as well as reviewing nine audits of different facilities. The EPA does not compare or contrast the two different standards in the published study.
For areas of improvement, the EPA recommended providing additional training and other materials to expand the knowledge base, increasing regular updates to the standards to stay in-touch with industry standards, increasing audit time and addressing conflict of interest issues to “enhance overall rigorousness of the audits.”