Social responsibility is a continuing challenge in electronics manufacturing. Working hours, health & safety and forced labor are examples of industry-wide problems that make computers and other electronics a high risk product category for purchasers.
Electronics Report – TCO Certified reveals both improvements and challenges in factory working conditions
In a new report, IT product certification TCO Certified reveals both progress and persistent challenges in manufacturing conditions in the electronics industry.
Representatives from TCO Development will be attending a number of events this spring. Bring your sustainable IT questions and let us know if you’ll be there
Some problems that plague IT production – like blocked fire exits or malfunctioning safety equipment – are relatively easy to solve. But the issues go much deeper. From migrant workers who have to pay for the privilege of serving as modern-day forced labor, to using student workers for menial tasks under the guise of education, to extreme overtime — the human costs of IT manufacturing can be staggering.
We will be publishing on-demand versions of the presentations from Sustainable IT Summit 2015. In part 3, Niklas Egels-Zandén take a closer look at the issue of social responsibility in the supply chain.
It's a positive development to see initiatives on the market that aim to make the IT industry more sustainable. The product certification TCO Certified and the manufacturer Fairphone both offer the possibility of choosing smartphones that take social and environmental aspects into consideration. However, the report that compares Fairphone side-by-side to TCO Certified Smartphones is somewhat misleading.
In a new investigative report, Sweden’s TV4 this week further exposed the continuing social problems and sub-par conditions faced by electronics factory workers in China.
2014 was in many ways a breakthrough year for sustainable IT. Buyers became even more committed to making sustainable IT product choices and we have seen an improved, more purposeful dialog between IT purchasers and industry. More contracts are also reflecting how an organization’s choice of computers and other electronics can contribute to sustainable development, both before, during and after the purchase is made.
TCO Certified, announced a new cooperation with the Office for Procurement of the German Ministry of the Interior (Beschaffungsamt des Bundesministerium des Innern, BeschA). TCO Certified is set to become part of the newly established code of conduct, agreed to by the BeschA and the electronics industry group BITKOM, another step toward more sustainable procurement of IT products.
Electronics and IT products are largely manufactured under tough working conditions in price-pressed supply chains. These pressurized conditions have led to excessive overtime, unsafe working environments and other negative outcomes for workers. As some brands show progress toward more responsible practices, it is vital that organizations buying IT products use tools such as the new EU Public Purchasing Directive to continue the drive toward more sustainable manufacturing of electronics.