Wistron GreenTech is the recycling subsidiary of Wistron Corp., a Taiwan-based global original design manufacturer. Prompted by customer requests to be a comprehensive electronics recycling company, Wistron Corp. launched Wistron GreenTech in 2010. Wistron GreenTech focuses on reuse, with recycling operations that include collecting, sorting, testing and refurbishing electronics, and secure data destruction.
In the late 2000s, to meet their own corporate responsibility goals, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) began to demand that electronics recyclers be certified to a standard that protects the environment, garners consistent quality and protects human health and safety. Wistron GreenTech realized it needed to join the increasing majority becoming certified, which would also satisfy its need to assure a secure source of materials for the company’s product manufacturing. Wistron’s company philosophy states that it is “protecting the environment, caring for society and contributing to the betterment of mankind,” making certification a perfect fit.
The entire R2/RIOS™ certification process at Wistron took nine months to complete, including six months to establish conformance data. Bill Long, strategic director of Wistron, said that the RIOS™ implementation guide was helpful during the process. Long also sent employees to RIOS™ Train-the-Trainer Workshops to help develop the company’s quality, environmental, health and safety management system and to prepare for certification.
Wistron’s R2/RIOS™ certification assures its clients that its recycling practices meet all industry standards. “Having R2/RIOS™ adds to the credibility and comfort level of customers sending us materials to recycle,” said Long. As a manufacturer and assembler of electronics with the majority of its operations in China and Mexico, Wistron believes that, to have effective recycling, commodities and materials must be recycled in the location where the new products are assembled and manufactured, often in developing countries. Since Wistron’s operations are global, R2/RIOS™ certification has enhanced the company’s international operations.
Implementing R2/RIOS™ has allowed Wistron to proactively identify environmental risks on a daily basis, which makes the company better prepared to mitigate and avoid hazards. It also provides a protocol to ensure proprietary and confidential business records are not exposed. Since receiving certification, Wistron has experienced a 30 percent increase in business. Additionally, the Plan, Do, Check, Act system has improved the recovery efficiency of its circuit–board recycling practice by more than 11 percent per pound. Wistron is very pleased with R2/RIOS™ and will pursue certification for its new plastics facility in China.
“Management efficiencies and consistencies that come from developing and following the certification improve overall results, even if there is an initial cost. R2/RIOS™ more than pays for itself,” said Long.