2018 January 23

Swiss Purchasing Consortium Signs Up to Electronics Watch

In 2016, the Swiss Canton de Vaud affiliated as a founding member to Electronics Watch, leading the way for the whole purchasing consortium, the Romandy IT Purchasing Partnership (PAIR), to affiliate as of January 1 this year. PAIR is a non-profit association whose purpose is to define and meet the common needs of its active members in order to enable them to procure ICT products and services on the best terms. It brings together some forty members from French-speaking Switzerland, such as cantons, cities, hospitals, universities and public transport companies. En Français

PAIR's affiliation to Electronics Watch consolidates its commitment to socially responsible purchasing, responding to the expectations of citizens and MPs and enabling them to justify transparently the actions they take. For many years, PAIR has been aiming to ensure responsible practices in the supply of electronic products in three areas of sustainable development. It seeks to prevent and reduce the risk of violation of labour rights and safety standards in factories where its products are produced and assembled.

In collaboration with the Sustainable Development Unit of the Canton de Vaud and the Cantonal Service for Sustainable Development of the Canton de Geneva, PAIR has specified ecological criteria and developed social responsibility requirements in its calls for tenders. Since 2010, some environmental tender requirements have become absolute - the products must be labeled. In addition, social requirements have been developed. They aim to ensure that the working conditions of the workers in the production chain comply with the basic conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). These ecological and social criteria have a "weight" of 20% on the total criteria of adjudication.

The president of PAIR, Jean-Pierre Gilliéron, said:

"PAIR looks forward to joining Electronics Watch because affiliation makes our commitment to socially responsible purchasing concrete and operational. It allows us to verify that the criteria of our tender calls, aimed at preventing and reducing the risk of human rights violations in our IT purchases, are actually controlled in practice. In this way, PAIR meets the expectations of citizens and political representatives, we can justify our actions, and be transparent. By engaging with other public buyers around the world, we will be much more efficient in achieving our goals."