Despite the Covid crisis the CEWASTE project is pleased to report that its pilot audit phase has commenced and is progressing well and 11 audits have now been completed at e-waste recycling facilities in Italy, Switzerland, Portugal and Spain.
Thanks to the efficient planning and participation of local auditors, the project has been able to conduct most of these audits on site, although in one case it was partly conducted virtually
The pilot audits are being conducted to test the certification scheme – i.e. the normative requirements and the assurance system – and understand how it applies practicality to the facilities at which it is aimed. Feedback is being provided by personnel at the facilities being audited and the auditors themselves and this feedback will be used to further improve the scheme and its applicability. As well as improving the scheme itself, the feedback will also be used to develop a roadmap, including recommendations for amending existing mechanisms (legislation, guidelines, standards and initiatives) with the new requirements, and a plan for the future roll-out of the voluntary scheme.
Initial feedback has included comments on the economic viability of extracting critical raw materials from e-waste, one of the things the CEWASTE scheme focuses on, as well as the safety elements of handling batteries. In addition, the companies being audited have unanimously fed back that the audit experience, with very professional auditors, has been a positive one!
Further audits are in the process of being organised, some of which will be in countries outside of Europe – Rwanda, Colombia and Turkey – and these will be completed in the coming weeks. Due to the evolution of the COVID-19 situation, most of these audits will have to be conducted virtually.