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It’s an Italian excellence, a pioneering program created by the will of the members of the Consortium System that SAFE represents and operates beyond what is already provided by the Legislative Decree. 49/2014 (WEEE). A model for the realization and the control of the recycling chain that aims to maximize re-use of natural resources through the identification and use of best available techniques and the reintroduction of secondary raw materials in new production cycles.
This is ECOGuard.

A product certification, unique in Italy, for the protection of all process steps (transport, storage, selective treatment and final treatment) aimed at:

ensure to keep the improvement of the service offered, producing clear benefits for the community, preventing any possible risk to the environment and health;

achieve the paradigm of an efficient (re)use of natural resources through the reintroduction of secondary raw materials for new production cycles, in accordance with the code of conduct on social and environmental responsibility.

ECOGuard is the instrument chosen by the SAFE Group to ensure the proper treatment of waste arising from Electrical and Electronic equipments, in constant increase.

Incorrect treatment of WEEE result in a lack of recycling of raw materials and in the dispersion of hazardous substances; for these reasons WEEE can not be discarded with normal household waste or landfilled, but they require a separate collection and subsequent treatment. The control throughout the supply chain management of WEEE therefore becomes essential. The separate collection, treatment and recovery represent fundamental moments that, if controlled and properly implemented, ensure that the management is carried out safely, especially with regard to the pollutants and hazardous components (such as mercury for lamps) and recover materials for reuse in the production process (copper, iron, aluminium, steel, glass, plastics, rare metals.

ECOGuard intervenes in this process to ensure the best quality service in the management of the entire chain of recovery of WEEE, qualifying all stakeholders and carrying out periodic checks to ensure the continued conformity of the activities.

Three are the main objectives:

  • to reduced environmental impact produced by the entire process of collection, transport, recovery and recycling of waste consisting of electrical and electronic equipments with the minimization of risks related to the management of potentially dangerous substances contained in waste through the use of proper treatment;
  • to maximize the recovery and recycling of materials from waste consisting of electrical and electronic equipments;
  • to carry out activities in accordance with ethical and safety criteria.

ECOGuard represent a process control throughout the supply chain for the transport and treatment of household WEEE and it applies to the following entities:

  • transporters of WEEE;
  • storage facilities of WEEE and / or Intermediaries with detention;
  • selective treatment of WEEE plants (pre-processor);
  • final treatment of WEEEplants (end-processor).

promoting best practices aimed to minimize cannibalization, uncontrolled sales of fractions or components and harmful behaviour to protect the environment and also promoting activities to raise awareness about their role with respect to the entire management. The Technical Regulations ECOGuard examines all phases of WEEE collection and treatment by identifying in detail the performance requirements and process performance indicators binding for each of them.

The SAFE group, in cooperation with TÜV Italia, ensures legislative compliance of activities, entrusting the service of transport and treatment of WEEE waste only to persons who meet the requirements necessary to ensure the proper execution of the service.

ECOGuard means transparency and efficiency: to join the program it is requested to undergo a series of checks to ensure the regularity of the whole process. It is a careful and meticulous process that does not end with the basic controls, but it also include - to ensure compliance of the entire chain - periodic checks implemented through both direct controls (field audits) and indirect (documentation). Audits are carried out by qualified professionals and take place on the spot of the entities involved (transporters, storage facilities, intermediaries with possession, selective treatment plants and final processing plants) and are aimed to ensure:

  • compliance with national and international statutory and regulatory provisions concerning the environment, health and safety at work and on corporate social responsibility;
  • the sustainable approach of the whole supply chain with particular regard to respect for the environment, health, safety and dignity of workers employed in the recovery industry;
  • high percentages of recovery of the materials (plastic, ferrous and non ferrous metals, circuit boards and printed circuits containing several precious /rare/special metals);
  • increasing of use of recycled materials in preference to the use of virgin materials.

To manage the activities related to the Protocol ECOGuard,each year SAFE performs numerous field inspections in the plants involved; SAFE also performs remote monitoring, through the analysis of the report registered by the IT system that manages all waste disposal services.

In 2015 SAFE has carried out inspections in 20 plants, for a total of 36 days of controls; 1 of these 20 plant was submitted for the first time to a pre-qualification audit, becoming a new fully-fledged ECOGuard partner.

We started from a dream of progress and made it reality.
That's why ECOGuard is our dream come true.


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