Industry Certifications – Why are They Important?

Environmental certifications are great, but what about data security that could have huge financial and legal impact? According to The Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach in the US in 2011 was $194 per customer record and $5.5 million per breach!

The fact is, not all certified providers are equal.  At SSI, industry certifications are an important foundation in demonstrating our capabilities to you. But we go far beyond the basics of certification to deliver the solutions to your most complex recycling and lifecycle asset management requirements. That being said, SSI is proud of the fact that we are the only service provider with 10 key certifications, significant among which are NAID Data Destruction Certifications for secured data destruction on computers, cell phones, tablets, printer/copiers, flash drive, CD/DVD, tapes, etc.

Understanding NAID certifications

You should be aware that NAID’s Hard Drive Destruction certification applies only to physical destruction. Recyclers usually only pursue this certification so they can claim to hold a NAID certification. However, it is not sufficient for ITAD/asset recovery program. SSI goes well beyond this baseline certification by maintaining NAID certification in Hard Drive Sanitization (a must for ITAD/asset recovery), Solid State Storage Devices/Media Destruction, and Solid State Storage Devices/Media Sanitization.

Many providers have R2 certification, but it’s only a small part of the story

R2 and e-Stewards are minimum certifications. They are simply not enough to tell you what goes on inside a facility on daily basis, not to mention integrity. Some of the issues that aren’t resolved by simple R2 certification include the following:

  • Auditors only have a few days to check a facility
  • Auditors check paperwork most of the time
  • Auditors do not know all the tricks that recyclers play
  • Auditors may not be well-trained. They even do not know all the standard details (ex. Per R2, before shredding, you need to remove lithium batteries from circuit boards, and remove lamps from laptops, LCD display, etc.)

SSI has strong relationships with regulatory agencies and industry oversight organizations

As further testimony to SSI’s qualifications beyond mere certification, we have been invited by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to help develop and evolve the R2 certification. We also have collaborated in the refinement of SERI standards, and we work with NAID to continue evolving and improving its certification standards.

SSI Corporate Headquarters

250 W. North Ave.

Lombard, IL 60148


  • Responsible Recycling (R2)
  • ISO 14001:2015
  • ISO 45001:2018
  • National Minority Supplier Development Council(NMSDC)
  • Woman-owned Small Business(WOSB)
  • Women’s Business Enterprise(WBE)
  • NAID AAA certified
    • Computer Hard Drive Sanitization – Plant based
    • Computer Hard Drive Sanitization – Onsite
    • Computer Hard Drive Physical Destruction – Plant based
    • Computer Hard Drive Physical Destruction – Onsite
    • Solid State Device (SSD) Physical Destruction – Plant based
    • Solid State Device (SSD) Physical Destruction – Onsite
    • Electronic Media Destruction – Plant based