StEP envisions being an agent and steward of change, uniquely leading global thinking, knowledge, awareness and innovation in the management and development of environmentally, economically and ethically-sound e-waste resource recovery, re-use and prevention.
The Solving the E-waste Problem (StEP) Initiative emerged in 2004 as an independent, multi-stakeholder platform for designing strategies that address all dimensions of electronics in an increasingly digitized world. StEP applies an integrated, science-rooted approach to create salient solutions to global e-waste challenges along the entire electronics life cycle.
In this respect StEP addresses especially UN Sustainable Development Goals 12 “Responsible Consumption and Production”.
StEPs five Founding Principles
1. Scientific basis
StEP's work is founded on scientific assessments and incorporates a comprehensive view of the social, environmental and economic aspects of e-waste.
2. Life cycle approach
StEP conducts research on the entire life-cycle of electronic and electrical equipment and their corresponding global supply, process and materials flow.
3. Solution oriented
StEP's research and pilot projects are meant to contribute to the solution of e-waste problems.
4. Legal compliance
StEP condemns all illegal activities related to e-waste including illegal shipments and reuse/ recycling practices that are harmful to the environment and human health.
5. Socially responsible
StEP seeks to foster safe and eco/energy-efficient reuse and recycling practices around the globe in a socially responsible manner.
StEP facilitates research, analysis and dialogue among more than 35 members drawn from business, international organizations, governments, NGO’s and academic institutions around the world.
The StEP Initiative’s Secretariat is based in Bonn, Germany and is at present hosted by the United Nations University – Vice Rectorate in Europe, Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme.
Milestones 2004 - 2019
Formal Launch of Step at UN Secretariat in New York
1st StEP E-Waste Summer School
1st E-Waste Academy Management Edition (EWAM) in Ghana
Publication of StEP E-Waste World Map
New membership structure and New MoU