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LUPC - a member of Procurement England Ltd.
LUPC has committed to becoming a Founding Member of Electronics Watch, a new independent organisation that aims to monitor working conditions in the global electronics industry to enable socially responsible public purchasing across Europe.
The electronics industry is one of the fastest growing global industries with an expected yearly growth of 7% between 2013-2015. However, poor working conditions and labour rights abuses are commonplace in many parts of the developing the world, where the majority of ICT products are made.
Local governments and universities in Europe are large-scale consumers of electronics products. Together, public buyers have considerable buying power; if they join forces, they can create significant leverage to influence structural improvement in the industry.
Electronics Watch, which aims to be up and running by mid-2015, will act as the ‘eyes and ears’ of public sector organisations on the ground in regions where their ICT products are made. The organisation, which is part EU-funded, will enable buyers to monitor compliance with policy and commission interventions when required, without the expense of having to do this in-house, and help to improve conditions for workers in tiers 1 and 2 of their supply chains.
Just 25 public institutions from across Europe, of which LUPC is one, will be involved as Founding Members. LUPC Director Andy Davies says:
“This is a very important social issue for LUPC and our Members. It's also a very prestigious role for us and means that we have a very active part to play, representing our Members at EU level. We hope that our Members will follow our lead by supporting and contributing to Electronic Watch's work, auditing our supply chains in low-cost countries and calling the major IT multinationals to account. LUPC leads the £100m pa national framework agreement for desktop PCs and notebooks, the largest in the UK HE sector, so collaboratively we have the power and influence to make a real difference.”
People & Planet campaigner Jim Cranshaw says:
“After witnessing the appalling conditions of workers in the industry, people across Europe are campaigning for their public sector bodies to join Electronics Watch. Electronics Watch has been formed by seven NGOs across Europe to offer public sector buyers ‘eyes and ears on the ground’ to monitor and improve factory conditions in places such as China and South East Asia.
By being one of only 25 Founding Members of Electronics Watch across Europe, LUPC has again positioned itself at the forefront of socially responsible public purchasing. We call on other public bodies to follow their lead.”