2014 November 11

The University of Leeds joins the fast growing Electronics Watch Founding Members

Electronics Watch is happy to welcome the University of Leeds another founding member from the UK. This victory is a result of a national student-led Sweatshop Free campaign supported by People & Planet, the UK's largest student campaigning network. The campaign is gathering huge momentum in Britain, with many more affiliations expected over the coming months.

More and more public institutions are realising the power that Electronics Watch has to bring positive change to the electronics industry. By affiliating, public bodies are empowered to be able to challenge worker rights violations in their electronics supply chains.

Emma Simpson, a student at the university, said: "The University's choice to affiliate to Electronics Watch is an incredibly significant one. Universities have a very close relationship to the electronics industry, buying up thousands of products each year, so it's an extremely positive step forward to ensure that the equipment we're using at Leeds is sourced ethically, with workers' rights at the forefront of our decision making. I'm really excited to see the university commit to a more socially responsible buying policy, and I hope that this will inspire other institutions to do the same. Together, we can bring about real change in an industry with appalling labour rights abuses."

Leeds University is now one of a number of UK public bodies which have now affiliated. The University of Edinburgh, the London Universities Purchasing Consortium and the Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges are also Founding Members.

Dennis Hopper, Director of Facilities Management at Leeds University said, "We are committed to improving the sustainability of our supply chain and Electronics Watch gives us the opportunity to support meaningful change, in an industry that suffers from poor working conditions. Addressing these issues aligns closely with our university values and we are looking forward to working in a pro-active way to make a difference in this area. We are proud to be founding members and hope we are soon joined by partners from across the European Union."