Barcelona City Council has joined Electronics WatchPhoto: Photo by Cha già José, Flickr creative commons

The Barcelona City Council has affiliated to Electronics Watch, thereby making a social and environmental commitment to the workers of the electronics industry. This statement coincided with the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, an annual gathering for the mobile industry and related industries. The Council hopes to encourage debate about new relationships between technology and the city, and promote a socially and environmentally sustainable ICT sector.

Barcelona City Council has joined Electronics WatchPhoto: Photo by Cha già José, Flickr creative commons

The Barcelona City Council has affiliated to Electronics Watch, thereby making a social and environmental commitment to the workers of the electronics industry. This statement coincided with the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona, an annual gathering for the mobile industry and related industries. The Council hopes to encourage debate about new relationships between technology and the city, and promote a socially and environmentally sustainable ICT sector.

The deputy mayor, Gerardo Pisarello, said: "It is a measure of self-discipline. We are subjecting ourselves to external control to monitor the extent to which Barcelona City Council meets, or complies with, these labour codes when working with companies in this field."

Björn Claeson, Director of Electronics Watch, welcomes the new affiliate, saying: "We applaud Barcelona's commitment to sustainable and socially responsible public procurement, and look forward to working with the City to ensure respect for labour rights and safety standards in its ICT hardware supply chains."

Barcelona City Council, like other affiliates, will include a transparency clause in their contracts, which requires their suppliers of electronic equipment to report on the location of the factories of origin, in order to enable Electronics Watch to monitor these factories.  At the same time, the Council is running a pilot of 10 Fairphone mobiles, with the possibility of including Fairphones in the terms of upcoming mobile phone supply contracts.

On 23rd February SETEM Catalunya is hosting a Mobile Social Congress parallel to the Mobile World Congress, with the support of Barcelona City Council, where Electronics Watch will be presented. This event is open to the public, and will include round tables on the topics of labour rights, conflict minerals, programmed obsolescence and e-waste. Guests can bring along broken electronics devices to the 'Restart party' to be repaired.