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Two words, “certified” and “compliant,” may appear to mean about the same thing. But when it comes to your IT asset disposition (ITAD), they are worlds apart.

Scan the website of any ITAD vendor. Do you see statements such as “compliant with requirements of…” followed by the name of a governing organization? That’s substantially different from — and it falls short of — certification by the same organization. Here’s why:

Certification represents a significant effort and investment by the ITAD vendor. For example, NAID AAA Certification® (for ensuring secure data destruction) requires a rigorous application process, an initial audit to verify all aspects of compliance, and ongoing unbiased audits, both scheduled and unannounced. Other certifications, including those by Sustainable Electronics Recycling International (R2) and the Basel Action Network (e-Stewards), maintain similar stringent requirements.

On the other hand, when an ITAD vendor touts compliance with an organization’s standards, but without certification, there’s a lot you may not know, such as: Which standards has the vendor chosen to adopt? Which ones are they disregarding? And who’s verifying compliance?

Failure to comply with just one standard could be very costly for your organization. (Remember, it’s not just the ITAD vendor that’s at risk!) All it takes is one data breach or instance of illegal landfilling to put you on the hook for millions of dollars in fines and/or legal costs, not to mention a major hit to your brand and corporate image.

At Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations, we’ve devoted a page of our website to our many certifications, because we want you to have complete peace of mind about how we’re handling your outdated  IT assets.

For additional information about certifications and other aspects of choosing an ITAD vendor, I invite you to download our complimentary white paper, “Must-Ask Questions for Evaluating an IT Asset Disposition Vendor.”


Casey is Vice President, ITAD, at Dynamic Lifecycle Innovations. You can reach him at cdingfelder@thinkdynamic.com.