Shop Ethical! Electronics


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.


The companies behind the brands

See PROFILES for popular brands



 The issues that affect our world

Key Resources

  • Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics report, 19th Edition, October 2017, provides an analysis of what 17 of the world’s leading consumer electronics companies are doing to address their environmental impacts focusing on energy use, resource consumption, and chemical elimination.
  • Behind the Barcode Electronics Industry Trends report, 2nmd edition, 2016, grades 100 electronics brands on what they are doing to reduce the risk of exploitation and forced labour in their supply chains (Australian focus).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!