A leading group of European public authorities, guided by Electronics Watch and ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability), have piloted socially responsible public procurement of ICT hardware. The group includes Electronics Watch affiliates Barcelona City Council, Municipality of Haarlem, APUC Scotland and Region Stockholm as well as the City of Stavanger. From market dialogue to contract management, the five public buyers took critical steps towards fairer electronics supply chains.
On the 30th of November, at the first day of the Electronics Watch OHS Summit, Candela Vidal-Abarca Garrido of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission introduced the brand new EU Ecolabel for electronic displays. Established in 1992, the EU Ecolabel promotes products and services with a lower environmental impact throughout their life cycle. The new Ecolabel blends environmental and social criteria with a strong verification process.
In the first week of December, 180 people from 33 countries participated in the Electronics Watch Summit ‘ReWORKing Health & Safety: Protecting Workers and Promoting Resilient Public Sector Supply Chains’. Thirty-three expert speakers led participants on a journey of presentations, interviews and discussions across eight topics, including transparency and the right to know, migrant workers, women workers, and mining, focusing in each case on possible solutions and the role of public procurement. You can watch recordings of the webinars here, and a summary of the whole event here.
One of the more serious and endemic occupational health and safety problems in the global electronics industry has long been worker exposure to a wide range of toxic chemicals, used today in Asia even though they may be banned in Europe and other parts of the world. This and other health hazards require technical expertise to prevent worker exposure and introduce adequate industrial hygiene measures. Electronics Watch is developing our capacity to meet this need with a new OHS Advisory Panel whose members have expertise in occupational health and safety, chemical use and safety and medicine.
Electronics Watch is entering its next phase of monitoring in the mining sector by extending its pilot monitoring project in the Philippines and launching similar monitoring projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Bolivia.
European Union highlights the collaboration between Electronics Watch and affiliate ACM as a “good practice case”
In the case study 'Using procurement in Catalonia to strengthen workers' rights in electronics supply chains' (Making Socially Responsible Public Procurement Work), the EU has highlighted the collaboration between Electronics Watch and affiliate ACM (The Catalan Association of Local Authorities, which comprises over 1000 loval government entities), as a good practice case for the ICT sector.
Electronics Watch is delighted to announce that registration for our first virtual summit is now open:
30 November – 3 December, 2020
Former migrant workers and forced labour victims at Possehl Electronics in Malaysia who returned to their home countries after Possehl severed ties with their employment agency have now received compensation for the cost of their travel home thanks to collaboration between Electronics Watch and the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). The JS Global Services agency had confiscated their passports, delayed wage payments for months, made illegal deductions from their wages, and violently threatened the workers when they asked for their wages.
On September 8, more than 60 people participated in the Electronics Watch webinar "Public Procurement in Times of Crisis and Beyond: Resilience through Sustainability." Twelve speakers – experts in public procurement, monitoring and social auditing from nine countries – contributed their ideas on how to strengthen social and environmental responsibility in public procurement, conduct effective supply chain engagement, and support meaningful worker participation.
Based on extensive consultations with monitoring and auditing experts, this Guidance standardizes and explains the Electronics Watch worker-driven monitoring methodology step by step. It is intended to ensure Electronics Watch monitoring everywhere follows the same high standard and can drive the change that is needed on the ground.