National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (NSES)
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The National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship (NSES) provides recommendations on steps the federal government, businesses, and all Americans can take toward achieving the goals identified in Executive Order 13693, “Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade.”
The NSES results from collaboration among 16 federal departments and agencies, collectively known as the Interagency Task Force on Electronics Stewardship, as well as consultation with stakeholders from the electronics, retail, and recycling industries; environmental organizations; state and local governments; and concerned citizens. It has the following goals:
- Build incentives for design of environmentally preferable electronics and enhance science, research, and technology development in the United States.
- Ensure that the federal government leads by example.
- Increase safe and effective management and handling of used electronics in the United States.
- Reduce harm from U.S. exports of electronics waste (e-waste) and improve handling of used electronics in developing countries.
EPA estimates that, in 2009, 438 million electronic products were sold in the United States, and 2.4 million tons were ready for end-of-life management. Both numbers are increasing substantially each year. By increasing its capacity to responsibly recycle our used electronics, the United States can create green jobs, lead to more productive reuse of valuable materials, and support a vibrant American recycling and refurbishing industry.
If properly executed, NSES can increase our domestic recycling efforts, reduce the volume of e-waste that is managed unsafely (both domestically and abroad), strengthen both domestic and international markets for viable and functional used electronic products, and prevent health and environmental threats at home and abroad. As discussed in the NSES and in the subsequent reports from 2014 and 2017, federal agencies are working together on various initiatives that will further progress towards these goals.
- National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship: Interagency Task Force on Electronics Stewardship - July 20, 2011, strategy to lay the groundwork for improving the design of electronic products and enhancing our management of used or discarded electronics.
- Moving Sustainable Electronics Forward: An Update to the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship - August 2014. Interagency Task Force on Electronics Stewardship’s update to the 2011 strategy. This accomplishments report highlights some of the key achievements made under the NSES.
- Agency Benchmarks to the Federal National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship - Annex of benchmarks listing each project, the primary agency responsible for the project, any supporting agencies, and the target completion date.
- Implementation Study of the R2 & e-Stewards® Recycling Standards - EPA completed a limited study evaluating the implementation of the two third-party certification programs for electronic waste recyclers in the U.S. - R2 and e-Stewards®. The study fulfills a key commitment under the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship for the federal government to lead by example in encouraging the environmentally preferable design and responsible management of used electronics.
- Accomplishments Report for the National Strategy for Electronics Stewardship - January 2017. This report charts the progress and accomplishments of the NSES in addressing the sustainable management of electronics and highlights the benefits of continued leadership from the federal government. It also considers the future role of the U.S. government as new and different electronics become part of our world today.