The production chain of consumer electronic products is a truly global one and is facing many social and environmental problems throughout the world.
The scope of SOMO’s research has widened from labour standards at production locations in Asia and Latin America to the entire life cycle of consumer electronics. SOMO started to research the labour abuses and environmental damage at the bottom of the supply chain; the conditions under which the raw materials for electronics are extracted. After initial resistance to take responsibility for this phase of their supply chain, the electronics companies now acknowledge that the electronics industry has the leverage for change, and the dialogue between business and SOMO will continue.
SOMO’s work in the electronics industry takes place through different projects: SOMO is coordinator of the European project makeITfair; is hosting the worldwide GoodElectronics network; and is partner in Procure IT fair, but also runs its own program together with partner organisations in the production countries. This program includes starting up dialogue between local workers organisations and supplier companies and monitoring the codes of conduct of the electronics brand companies.
New: The Story of Electronics
For the first time in Olympic history, the medals at the Olympic Games contain gold, silver and copper that has been recovered from electronic waste (e-waste). The recovery of medals from e-waste is important, because it reduces demand for scarce metals such as gold and copper. The mining of metals is often tied up with a wide range of social and environmental risks.
With a shift in recycling and production of consumer electronics, the E-waste problem can be addressed. The ‘E-waste policy paper’, published today by SOMO, provides proposals for policy and action.
Thousands of signatories joined makeITfair in its call towards mobile phone companies to pay greater attention to social standards in their supply chains.
SOMO research concludes gender equality is far remote from real life as perceived in the supply chain of consumer electronics.
A new publication released today by the GoodElectronics network and the Dutch CSR Platform sets concrete and ambitious recommendations for the electronics sector. 'Reset' offers guidance to companies in addressing human rights and environmental issues in the global electronics supply chain. 'Reset' argues for a more serious involvement of civil society organisations, trade unions in the first place. The publication gives an analytical review of the failing effectiveness of corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts in the global electronics sector. It provides a sample of progressive initiatives and recommended steps for companies to enhance their social and environmental performance.