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What are the requirements for downstream accountability under the e-Stewards Standard?

A: Downstream accountability is a critical component of responsible electronics recycling, as it
ensures that materials are managed properly throughout the entire recycling chain, from initial
collection to final disposition. The e-Stewards Standard includes specific requirements for
downstream accountability to ensure that certified recyclers are held responsible for the ultimate
fate of the materials they handle. Key requirements include:

  1. Downstream due diligence: Certified recyclers must conduct due diligence on all
    downstream vendors involved in the handling, processing, or disposal of electronic waste
    to ensure that they are operating in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and
    e-Stewards requirements.
  2. Material tracking: Certified recyclers must maintain detailed records of all electronic
    waste materials sent downstream, including the types and quantities of materials, the
    dates of shipment, and the names and locations of the receiving facilities.
  3. Contracts and agreements: Certified recyclers must have written contracts or agreements
    in place with all downstream vendors that specify the terms and conditions of the
    business relationship and the expectations for proper handling and disposal of electronic
  4. Auditing and verification: Certified recyclers must conduct periodic audits and
    inspections of downstream facilities to verify compliance with e-Stewards requirements
    and ensure that materials are being managed properly.
  5. Corrective action: If a downstream vendor is found to be in violation of e-Stewards
    requirements, the certified recycler must take prompt corrective action to address the
    issue and prevent future occurrences.
  6. Transparency and reporting: Certified recyclers must provide regular reports to the eStewards program on their downstream due diligence efforts and must make this
    information available to auditors and other stakeholders upon request.
    By establishing strict requirements for downstream accountability, the e-Stewards Standard aims
    to create a closed-loop system for responsible electronics recycling, in which all materials are
    managed properly from start to finish. This helps to prevent the export of electronic waste to
    developing countries, the release of hazardous substances into the environment, and the
    exploitation of workers in unsafe or unethical recycling operations.