Shop Ethical! Electronics

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The high-impact world of our hi-tech gadgets!

Electronic devices have become such an integral part of our daily lives that it’s hard to remember how we ever lived without internet, flat screens, and smartphones. We rely on them for daily communication, entertainment and work. Our gadgets make life easier, yet we don’t see the huge cost hidden behind this technology. more

Minerals and materials mined from the earth are often rare and in finite supply, fueling conflicts and exploitation at the extraction end of the supply-chain. Assembly in factory conditions often involve long hours and minimal wages. After items have done their job for us, their disposal raises questions of what’s in them, are they toxic and how can we recycle, reuse or simply dispose of them safely. Underneath all of this is the concern of built-in obsolescence, where we need to upgrade our technology continually as new software is developed and supersedes our present devices.

The Shop Ethical! guide to Electronics, together with the Electronics Companion will help you unpack the story behind your devices and take steps to act responsibly in the light of the issues. You can make informed purchasing choices, and, as users of particular brands, encourage companies to make positive change in the areas you care about.


 

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 The issues that affect our world
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Key Resources

  • Discover the best and worst products for repair in the Greenpeace 2017 Repair-IT product scorecard . Give feedback to Apple, Samsung and LG on their short-lived design, non-durable materials, and lack of repair manuals and spare parts.
  • The Clicking Clean 2017 report by Greenpeace compares IT companies on their commitments and actions on powering their data centres from renewable energy.
  • Rank-a-brand 2014 Sustainable Electronics report – provides an analysis of the transparency and sustainability performance of the top 20 global electronics brands.
  • Behind the Barcode Electronics Industry Trends report, launched May 2014,  assesses 39 electronics companies (whose brands are available in Australia) on their efforts to prevent worker exploitation and guarantee of a living wage for workers.
  • Mileudefensie and Friend of the Earth report, December 2013, assessing and rating major electronics companies based on their transparency and support for sustainable tin mining on Bangka and Belitung in Indonesia.
  • Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics report, 18th Edition, November 2012 – evaluates leading consumer electronics companies based on their commitment and progress in three environmental criteria: Energy and Climate, Greener Products, and Sustainable Operations.
  • Reset, 2009 report on Corporate responsibility in Electronics sector, by European independent monitoring organisation Electronics Watch.
  • How sustainable is your smartphone? – Guardian interactive resource, March 2014 – More than 40 elements used in smartphones are mined with untold environmental and social effects on every inhabited continent on earth.

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Ah – technology!