2015 May 1

First Dutch affiliate of Electronics Watch

The University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) becomes the first public body from the Netherlands, and the first hospital, to affiliate to Electronics Watch. By doing so, they join forces with other public European purchasing organisations who want to promote structural improvements in the electronics sector.

Hospitals and other public institutions are large consumers of electronics. Many public organisations want to engage in sustainable procurement. However, they lack the necessary tools to exert influence on the electronics industry.

Anne Marie van den Berg, senior purchaser at UMC Utrecht, explained: "Corporate social responsibility has long been an issue that we strive to integrate in our purchasing processes. One of our goals is to gain insight into the labour conditions across the international production chains that deliver the products we use. Electronics Watch provides us with very valuable objective information on the electronics supply chain, and this helps us establish a dialogue with our suppliers."

This is an important step for Electronics Watch, as it broadens out into new sectors, such as health. Pauline Overeem, one of the partners driving the initiative, said: "Collectively, public organisations can have considerable purchasing leverage. If they rally their forces, they can really exert influence on the different agents in the market, and ultimately accomplish structural improvements in workers' rights throughout the electronics sector worldwide. We are therefore delighted that, in the Netherlands, the UMCU has taken the first step."