The GoodElectronics Network and the International Campaign for Responsible Technology (ICRT) have issued a challenge to the electronics industry to adopt safer and more sustainable manufacturing practices with a focus on responsible chemical management.
We are calling on the industry to proactively reduce and eliminate the human rights risks associated with the use of process chemicals in the manufacturing of electronics products and components. Electronics companies must develop and adopt safer alternatives to harmful substances and production processes in order to protect the health of workers, their communities and the environment.
Due to the use of hazardous chemicals, many electronics workers are suffering from cancer, miscarriages, birth defects and other problems. To address this issue, we published ‘Meeting the Challenge’ in 2015, containing six important recommendations for safe and sustainable electronics manufacturing.
Measures by the electronics industry
The industry asserts that it is making serious efforts to address these issues. The Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) is a coalition of more than 100 electronics, retail, auto and toy companies. EICC says it is committed to supporting the rights and well-being of workers and communities around the world that are affected by the global electronics supply chain. EICC sets and holds its members accountable to core standards and provides training and assessment tools.
Chemical Challenge Gap Analysis
The question is whether the efforts made by EICC and its member companies are enough. Are the standards and tools offered by EICC adequate? The short but clear answer is that they are not. This gap analysis demonstrates how far the standards and tools developed by EICC fall short of the expectations set by civil society organisations and experts in the field of occupational health and safety and industrial hygiene.
Mind the gap!
The EICC offered to do a ‘gap analysis’, to compare its Code of Conduct and Validated Audit Process (VAP) with the standards formulated by GoodElectronics and ICRT in ‘Meeting the Challenge’. Alternatively, we measured up the EICC Code and VAP Protocol to the standards and priorities we have set as CSOs. In our Gap Analysis you can see how EICCs self-assessment and our CSO assessment compare.