Electronics unites consumers in Poland with persons living in poverty in the developing countries. It is the people of these countries that assemble computers, smartphones and other electronic devices that we use in our country. The manner and effects of mining raw materials as well as the working conditions in the factories that make electronic equipment affect the long-term goals of development cooperation and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Objective 1, 5, 8 and 17.
The subject of fair electronics fits well with the objectives of global education in Poland: reference to development problems and challenges in the world, raising awareness on the existence of global phenomena and interdependencies. It also shows the mutual economic, social, political, environmental and technological relations, taking as an example the extraction of raw materials and the related environmental contamination as well as the working and wage conditions in the electronic factories in the developing countries.
The target groups of the project are: lecturers in higher-education institutions and other academic staff as well as doctoral students; college students; journalists from national, regional and local media as well as NGOs. These groups are able to reach a wide range of recipients in Poland.
The project is an element of a three-year undertaking – the international campaign Make ICT Fair and draws on the achievements of the Electronics Watch organisation, which conducts throughout Europe informal certification of sustainable public procurement in terms of an ethical supply chain in the electronics industry, with partners from Austria, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Hungary and Great Britain.
Specific problems that illustrate the interdependencies in today’s world are: the impact of extraction of raw materials (used in electronic production) on the local communities and the environment in the Global South countries (social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts) and the impact of the production model in the electronics industry on populations that form cheap labour in factories in poor countries.
Activities within the project – training, seminars, popularising publications addressed to specific target groups – are directed at raising awareness among the Polish people on the importance of responsible consumption and civic activeness for the implementation of the goals of development cooperation and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The implementing entity is the ”Książka i Prasa” Publishing Institute Foundation. The duration of the project is 10 July 2018 to 27 December 2019.
The project helped popularise the notion of “Fair Electronics” among lecturers and other members of the academic staff as well as students, doctoral candidates, journalists and employees of non-governmental organizations.
The first module, which lasted from July to December 2018, comprised:
- Issuing two supplements to a monthly magazine with a circulation of 10,000 copies, which featured articles by Polish and international authors about the problems connected with the extraction of raw materials in developing countries and the conditions of the production of electronic equipment.
- Issuing a book written by Ugo Bardi, entitled “Extracted” (under the Polish title "Wydobycie" – 310 pages, edition of 1,000 copies), which was distributed among selected subscribers of the publishing house and groups interested in global issues.
- Training 13 students in the notion of fair electronics and responsible consumption in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals during workshops organised in November and December 2018.
- Discussing the past operation of Polish organisations pertaining to the notion of Fair Electronics as well as experience of European organisations and institutions during the seminar held in Warsaw in November 2018. Ten members of non-governmental organizations acquired knowledge and motivation necessary to disseminate this knowledge among their mentees and local communities.
- Initiating an informal working group, whose task will be to focus all the project target groups on the notion of Fair Electronics, including the representatives of five higher education institutions (in Warsaw, Katowice, Kraków and Opole).