It’s hard to imagine a world without electronic gadgets. We all rely on Information Technology-IT everyday. In fact, IT has improved our lives in many different ways. But it has also created many new problems around the world.
As part of the Make IT Better campaign of Friends of the Earth, thousands of people have forced Samsung to confirm it uses tin from Bangka Island, Indonesia, where tin mining is ravaging forests and coral reefs, injuring miners and destroying fishermen's livelihoods. Apple almost certainly also uses tin in its mobile phones that has come from that same Island.
You can now write to Apple to be transparent about its supply chain and to encourage other companies to do the same: http://www.foe.co.uk/what_we_do/make_it_better_action_37571.html
Almost all IT products contain plastics. But, the use of new or 'virgin oil' plastics is connected to a number of sustainability problems. CO2 emissions, high resource use in manufacturing and the threat of hazardous petrochemicals affecting human health and the natural environment are among the effects of using new plastics in IT products. Today only about 10% of plastics from durable goods is recycled, further adding to these threats and the global e-waste crisis.
On July 7, 24 activists from Milieudefensie, the Dutch chapter of Friends of the Earth International, left their handprints on the front wall of Microsofts headquarter in the Netherlands. Microsoft refuses to engage in fair mining of tin, used in their electronics. The activists got arrested, but were released after a few hours.
Civil society organisations from India and around the world are highly concerned about the recent spree of retrenching electronics workers in the Sriperumbudur industrial area in Tamil Nadu, India. The trend was set when Nokia India Pvt. Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Finish multinational Nokia Corporation, started to lay off workers in April 2014. This had a cascading effect on Nokia’s supplier companies. Now, the jobs of thousands of workers in these factories are at stake.
New company profile on ASMI on World Day of Health and Safety at Work
In a research into grievance mechanisms in the electronics industry in 5 different countries SOMO found that very few workers have trust in the grievance mechanisms in their company. Most workers do not know how complaints are handled, and have limited knowledge about the different complaint channels. Overall contract workers are treated unequally: in several cases they have no access to the existing grievance mechanisms. The high level of mistrust and the low percentage of satisfactorily resolved complaints demonstrate an overall poor performance regarding GM implementation.