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Empa Conformity Assessment

Since the start of Swico’s recycling activities in 1994, Empa (the research institute of the ETH Domain for Materials Science and Technology) has been responsible for auditing recycling partners – as a conformity assessment body for Swico Recycling’s partners.

Who audits Swico Recycling and its recycling partners?

Swico Recycling’s nine direct contract partners (as at 31/12/18) are audited annually, while the 117 dismantling companies (as in september 2021) they engage are audited every two years. The downstream processors of the groups resulting from processing are audited every three to six years, depending on their environmental relevance. Since 2017, the audits have been carried out based on the Swiss standard SN EN 50625. To guarantee the most consistent auditing possible, a comprehensive manual for auditing as per the SN EN 50625 series has existed since 2018.

In 2008, individual cantons recognised auditing by the agencies engaged by Swico and Sens eRecycling as delegated enforcement under the Swiss Ordinance on Returning, Taking Back and Disposing of Electrical and Electronic Equipment (ORDEE). At present, these cantons are Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Basel-Land, St. Gallen, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Zurich and Zug.

The Empa audit team is part of the Critical Materials and Resource Efficiency (CARE) Group of the Technology and Society Division and is made up of the following auditors:

  • Heinz Böni, Dipl. Ing. (ETH) (Leader)
  • Rolf Widmer, Dipl. El.-Ing. (ETH)
  • Michael Gasser, MSc in Environmental Sciences (ETH)
  • Andreas Bill, MSc Energy Managament and Sustainability, EPFL

Since 2008, the dismantling companies have been audited by two external auditors from companies commissioned by Empa: Carbotech AG , Sofies AG (since 2015) and Abeco Sàrl (since 2018):

  • Anahide Bondolfi, MSc in Environmental Sciences (University of Lausanne) (Abeco Sàrl)
  • Flora Conte, MSc in Environmental Sciences (ETH) (Carbotech AG)

In addition to auditing, the Empa team is responsible for conducting annual material and substance accounting within the recycling partners’ companies, determining the recycling and recovery rates using batch tests as a basis and coordinating with Sens eRecycling, the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and – at European level – with the technical committees of the WEEE Forum . Empa also supports the further development of Swico’s recycling system by means of research activities.

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