Why Do Certifications Matter?

Why Do Certifications Matter?

When it comes time to recycle or resell your devices, choose wisely who you trust.

Data security and environmental compliance is critical in today’s high-risk business landscape, and there are many companies who will take your equipment and give you their word…but how do you know they can really be trusted?

The Risk of Non-Certified Data Destruction and Resale

Blancco Technology Group found that 78% of drives purchased from eBay and Craigslist contained residual data that could be recovered. 11% of those drives also contained company data, such as emails, spreadsheets and customer information.

When you use a vendor who is not certified to data destruction standards included in certifications like R2 and e-Stewards, you can’t know for sure if your data is truly being destroyed in compliance with the most up-to-date wiping and/or shredding standards.

The Risk of Non-Certified Recycling

It’s illegal to dispose of e-waste in the landfill. Electronic waste is subject to the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which classifies some electronic wastes as hazardous waste. In addition, 25 states across the country currently have their own e-waste recycling laws on the books, and on the local level, the City of Sioux Falls bans electronics from the regional landfill.

The penalties for improper disposal of e-waste can be severe. A few recent examples include Big Lots paying over $3.5 million, the owner of Dollar General paying $1.125 million,  Apple paying $450,000, Comcast paying $25.95 million, Target paying $7.4 million, Walmart paying over $25 million… the list goes on and on.

Trusting an electronics recycler with your equipment means trusting them with your company’s reputation. Certifications like R2 and e-Stewards require strict chain-of-custody tracking and transparency to verify all equipment is handled legally and responsibly.

So.. What does “Certified” Really Mean?

Luckily, third-party standards act as industry “watchdogs” to offer a uniform way to assess the practices of companies and help you identify credible service providers.

Certifications address data destruction and security practices for hard drive shredding, wiping and secure handling. They also include environmental standards for proper recycling and disposal, along with regulatory compliance for worker health and safety and downstream chain-of-custody trails.

R2 Certification: Using an R2 certified partner demonstrates your commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices, prevention of data security threats, adherence to the highest industry standards possible, and proactive accountability for your technology assets.

  • Establishes responsible recycling (“R2”) practices for global electronics recycling and reuse.
  • Requires documented environmental, worker health and safety, data security and destruction protocols.
  • Annual independent audits to guarantee data security and safe, responsible practices.
  • Stringent shipping and material tracking systems, regulations, licensing, and insurance requirements.


e-Stewards Certification: Partnering with a provider certified to the elite e-Stewards standard protects you and your customers from security breaches and environmental catastrophes through strict chain of custody tracking, stringent environmental compliance, and secure management of all technology devices.

  • Annual audits by accredited third-party bodies for complete environmental, health, safety and security compliance.
  • Stringent guidelines to minimize environmental impact including heavily restricted export and dumping.
  • Conformance to the highest global standards including the Basel Convention, stricter than most laws.
  • Detailed record keeping of data erasure, destruction and end-to-end security processes.


ISO 14001 Certification: ISO 14001 certified companies go “beyond compliance” to proactively protect the environment, assuring you that all processes performed are continually measured for environmental impacts.

  • Requires organizations to create an effective Environmental Management System (EMS).
  • Must show commitments toward pollution prevention and continual improvement.
  • Establish and maintain procedures to identify significant environmental impacts.
  • Ensure all employees are aware of environmental impacts and are adequately trained.


ISO 45001 Certification: Utilizing service providers who are certified to ISO 45001 guarantees best possible working conditions for better, safer worker performance, proving health and safety is taken seriously.

  • Requires clearly defined occupational health and safety management system to identify and control risks.
  • Improves performance and customer satisfaction by reducing costly errors.


As the only R2 certified and e-Stewards certified provider in the region, SEAM proudly holds the highest worldwide certifications for environmental management systems and quality processes.

We are regularly audited by third party organizations to ensure our processes are meeting standards like those listed above and continually work with our customers to educate them on how they benefit from using a certified recycler for their IT equipment.

Get a quote today to see if we can help you with your next IT Decomissioning or Electronice Recycling project!

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.