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University of Leeds to buy only ethically sourced electronic equipment



The University of Leeds has signed up to Electronics Watch, which monitors the electronics industry for labour exploitation, and will now source only ethically produced equipment for its students.

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The school has joined other members including the University of Edinburgh, the London Universities Purchasing Consortium and the Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges.

Electronics Watch is an independent monitoring organisation that encourages responsible purchasing in Europe to improve the working conditions of labourers in the electronics sector.

By becoming a founding member, the University of Leeds will have its electronic goods monitored to ensure human rights violation has not occurred.

Dennis Hopper, director of Facilities Management at Leeds University said, “We are committed to improving the sustainability of our supply chain and Electronics Watch gives us the opportunity to support meaningful change, in an industry that suffers from poor working conditions.

“Addressing these issues aligns closely with our university values and we are looking forward to working in a pro-active way to make a difference in this area. We are proud to be founding members and hope we are soon joined by partners from across the European Union”.

The move is the result of a national student-led Sweatshop Free campaign, also supported by student campaign group People & Planet.

Leeds University’s student Emma Simpson commented, “Universities have a very close relationship to the electronics industry, buying up thousands of products each year, so it’s an extremely positive step forward to ensure that the equipment we’re using at Leeds is sourced ethically, with workers’ rights at the forefront of our decision making.

“I’m really excited to see the university commit to a more socially responsible buying policy, and I hope that this will inspire other institutions to do the same.”

Photo: hoboton via freeimages

Further reading:

Industry calls for universities to offer degrees in pollution and waste

Samsung faces new child labour scandal at supplier factory

Students call for end to workers’ rights abuses

We are a long way from achieving stability in supply chains

Manchester Met ranked greenest uni – but only 8 score full marks for ethical investment


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