Electronics Watch has incorporated three new full time staff members this summer. Cindy Berman began as Director of Impact and Innovation in July, along with Stefania Ricci in the role of Communications and Administrative Assistant. Isabel Menéndez became the new Finance Manager in September. The team of nine met in person for a staff retreat in Sweden in August.
A group of seven pioneering public buyers have joined forces with Electronics Watch to expand our successful impact model to protect the rights of workers in the automotive supply chain, from mines to battery assembly. The EU Clean Vehicles Directive coupled with citizen demand are increasing public buyer focus on this sector. The recently launched Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) programme will develop tools and resources for public buyers to push for measurable improvements in the sector and its supply chains.
In 2021 the pandemic continued to bring hardships to workers in the electronics industry. Our monitoring partners strengthened remote monitoring methods and focused their support on the most vulnerable. We planned and built capacity for future challenges, adopting a new three-year strategic plan. We organised a series of activities about the most fundamental of labour rights – freedom of association. We strengthened our industry engagement model by negotiating terms of engagement with the Responsible Business Alliance. To find out more, take a look at our Annual Report 2021.
In 2021, Electronics Watch launched a monitoring pilot of mining operations linked to global electronics supply chains. Since then, Electronics Watch has been working with its monitoring partner, Pacific Asia Resource Center (PARC) and their partner, Friends of the Earth Japan (FoE Japan), on nickel mining in the Philippines. Rio Tuba nickel mine on the island of Palawan in the Philippines is a source of nickel for prominent electric vehicle manufacturers and battery suppliers. Large scale mining of nickel has caused severe human rights and environmental impacts in the Philippines. Read the full report.
We are delighted to bring to you the public version of our three-year Strategic Plan: 2021-2023, which is already well on its way. We hope that you will be inspired by and join us in our plan to harness the power of public procurement to defend the rights of workers in electronics supply chains. We are grateful to the more than 40 advisors including public buyers, human rights experts, and labour rights monitoring partners who contributed their time and insight to this strategic plan.
Our educational series on human rights and environmental due diligence in public procurement is drawing large audiences from civil society, trade unions, policy makers, public administrations, and companies. 550 people signed up for the first three sessions where we addressed transparency, verification, and enforcement of effective due diligence. The series takes place in the context of pathbreaking new laws and proposals on due diligence, including the European Commission proposal for a directive on corporate sustainability due diligence.
The Municipalities of Copenhagen and Oslo have respectively become the first Danish and Norwegian affiliates of Electronics Watch. They join other Scandinavian affiliates Adda Central Purchasing Body and the Swedish Regions. "Copenhagen and Oslo are leaders in sustainable public procurement. We are thrilled to be joining forces to address core issues in electronics supply chains", said Björn Claeson, Director of Electronics Watch.
On 14 March, the Global Electronics Council (GEC) released its draft report State of Sustainability Research for Corporate ESG Performance. The report, prepared by Electronics Watch, supports the upcoming review of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT) criteria.
Participants from 30 different countries took part in the four day Freedom of Association summit organised by Electronics Watch in December 2021, with support from Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges, Scotland. More details and the recordings from each session can be accessed here.