Changemakers: Patrick Weber and Jonas Niederberger
Country of Implementation: Switzerland
The value chain of today’s electronics industry causes a lot of harm to people and the planet at various different stages: The extraction of conict minerals in sub-saharan Africa, the workers rights transgressions in the factories in China where the products are assembled, the toxic substances which are released if the product is not disposed properly, etc. To tackle this issue a group of Swiss students launched the social Startup project BuyAware in 2016. We believe that by empowering consumers to make conscious buying decisions, they can change demanding the electronics sector and make large companies rethink their value chain and shift their production towards more sustainably and ethically designed and produced products. This empowerment can be achieved by providing consumers with a tool that gives her/him an overview of a product's strengths and weaknesses throughout its life-cycle. The tool BuyAware has developed in that regard is a rating system for electronic devices which covers six different categories: “climate & energy”, “ecology”, “worker rights”, “conict minerals”, “transparency” and “performance”. The results of our product assessments are then visualised as a spiderweb diagram with six axes and published on our website where everyone can access them.
We are convinced that by providing the consumer with this kind of background information, we can indirectly make a significant contribution to more sustainable and ethical electronics. For more information visit www.buyaware.org.