In a world increasingly reliant on new electronic products, sustainability concerns become more complex as discarded electronics present new sources of environmental contaminants. However, new developments in the industry are leading towards the establishment of a “reverse supply chain” that finds new use for old electronics. Companies that go green and follow the Responsible Recycler (R2) Standard, such as Xerox, employ these strategies to help fight against e-waste.
Discarded devices and parts - called electronic waste, or simply e-waste - can be hazardous to the environment when not properly managed. The reverse supply chain allows used electronic devices, parts and supplies to be returned to manufacturers so they can be reused. This includes remanufactured products that are restored to working condition then sold, cartridges and toner containers that can be refilled and any form of e-waste that can be used for materials.
The R2 Standard certification outlines manufacturing processes, safety protocols and documentations that facilitate sustainability and transparency. In Munroe, Ohio, the Xerox national takeback facility acts as the center of logistics for operating the reverse supply chain that maintains these standards. Consumers and business managers play a key role by using the Green World Alliance program to return cartridges and equipment that would be otherwise discarded, feeding the supply chain back to manufacturing.