Curtin University and Electronics Watch celebrate the first affiliation in Australia. Electronics are recognized as being in the top five imported products in Australia at risk of modern slavery with a combined import value of nearly $10 billion.
Electronics Watch and The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) have entered into a formal agreement whereby the two organizations will work together to address issues in the global supply chains of RBA members where products are manufactured for public procurement.
Dataport, the IT service provider for municipal government organizations in six German states: Bremen, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Schleswig-Holstein, has affiliated to Electronics Watch for an initial period of six years.
Major consumers of smartphones, the cities of Malmö, Oslo, Copenhagen, and Helsinki, with the support of Electronics Watch, ICLEI and the Procura+ European Sustainable Procurement Network, have launched a challenge to companies to provide fair and circular smartphones by 2025. The demand calls for fair and safe working conditions across the supply chain, from raw materials through manufacturing and disposal, improved transparency, and verification through certification and worker-driven monitoring.
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.