Ethical inputs.

This page started from this thread

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton said on the intended content:

  • wiki pages with areas of relevant research - i don't want to hear it filled with "oh dear conditions are horrible" stories, i want to hear a plan of how things are made better.

I guess the rhombus-tech view is in the white paper.

This page is for researching possible incorporations to that view.

For now we'll add some links, and we may progressively detail more issues, groups or criteria that may or may not be taken into account for designing or producing new products.

I've also seen some link in this post on the pyra forums.

Labour conditions

Electronics Watch (EW)

Electronics Watch is an independent monitoring organisation that assists public sector buyers to meet their responsibility to protect the labour rights of workers in their global electronics supply chains more effectively and less expensively than any single public sector buyer could accomplish on its own. Public organisations affiliate with Electronics Watch and pay some dues. Electronics Watch provides with contractual clauses that affiliates must include in all ICT procurement aiming to ensure : 1. fullfilment of the labour standards 2. monitoring by local organisations (from where the work is done) in contact with Electronics Watch and correction of issues Affiliates get info on providers labour rights assesments (after providers have had a chance to reply or address any issues)

(EW was supportive of Fairphone)

Brochure on how to comply with Modern Slavery Act (UK) compulsory for all UK companies and public interest organisations above £36M/year turnover, recommended if below. Reporting on supply chain.

labour standards. All providers need to apply domestic and international law according to these crtieria.

FAQ on the first public procurement under Electronic Watch monitoring

Question: Is there a way in which open minded companies can participate in or support Electronics Watch?

EW: Yes. We have two suggestions. First, prepare yourself to satisfy the Electronics Watch contract terms by tracing and researching your supply chain, engaging with suppliers to ensure you are fully informed of labour violations and steps you can take to increase the capacity of suppliers to mitigate risk and prevent violations. Second, contact us about participating in the Electronics Watch Reform Program. The goal of this program is to address systemic issues, including sourcing and purchasing relationships, which may contribute to labour violations. The Reform Program is not a contractual requirement but a voluntary initiative.

China Labor Watch (CLW)

Labour rights advocacy not-for-profit. Office in New York and Shenzhen. In NY they collect info and disseminate reports to improve industry transparence. In Shenzhen they have a hot-line for workers, offer training and help collective bargaining. Present in toys, bikes, shoes, furniture, clothing, and electronics factories.

EW recognizes CLW.

Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM)

"[It] is a new nonprofit organization founded in Hong Kong in June 2005. SACOM originated from a students’ movement devoted to improving the labor conditions of cleaning workers and security guards under the outsourcing policy. [...]. SACOM aims at bringing concerned students, scholars, labor activists, and consumers together to monitor corporate behavior and to advocate for workers’ rights."

"We believe that the most effective means of monitoring is to collaborate closely with workers at the workplace level. We team up with labor NGOs to provide in-factory training to workers in South China. Through democratic elections, we support worker-based committees that can represent the voices of the majority of workers."

International Labour Organization

U.N. Agency gathering employers, employees and governments of 187 states.

Ethical Trading Initiative

"The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is a leading alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that promotes respect for workers' rights around the globe."

It seems they have as members fair trade organizations and NGOS (Oxfam, Fairtrade foundation, Save the children...), unions (IndustriAll, ITUC, TUC) and global corporations (Inditex, C&A, Marks&Spencer, The body Shop...). Companies adopt the ETI Base code, which is based in international law, and provide their own reports of compliance which ETI assesses and advises them on improvement. ETI publishes statistics (trends) based on these reports. If companies fail to provide reports or declare non-compliance, ETI will terminate their membership. ETI work does not include auditing or certification. Company membership does not imply compliance, it's more like willingness to improve. ETI does not encourage boycotts to offenders, just encourages checking which companies have shown commitment by ETI membership.

Consumer Protection

Free software

It is unethical to have consumers controlled by software writers, users should control programs, and not programs control users. But this is already quite accounted for in current plans, so it's no new ethical input, it's more like a project constant. Just a few quick links.

  • Free Software Foundation . Defines and defends free software

  • RYF certification. Marks products sold with 100% free software and making it hard for users to unconciously end up with any prorpietary software. There were 4 EOMA68 CPU cards offered with the same Allwinner A20 based hardware offered. One of those 4 had RYF certification planned (and money back if not achieved) and that one was the most demanded, so this is appreciated by both seller and buyers.

  • Openchain . Publishes a 10 page spec (presumably under CC0, because that's the general project contributions license) on how to do basic legal homework for compliance. This does not imply ethical attitudes (it talks of FLOSS) or any compromise to mainline, contribute all their software as free software, avoid tivoization, DRM, etc. And their training materials refer to OSI aproved licenses without mention of FSF license lists, seem a little too US-centric and acknowledge software patents and OOXML.But given there are no good SOCs to be had, it might be useful to point to for companies needing to get their act straight and at least ship legal software packages.

    It might also be useful for already legal and ethical undertakings to align with the verification artifacts proposed and be ready to be included in procurement chains of companies trying to legally use free software, since it should be very little extra work for free software development companies. Maybe adopt the somewhat related SPDX format for compliance data.

    It does not include (yet???) auditing or certification. It's more like a list of stuff you should provide to let others work with your free software:

    • source
    • build scripts
    • license copies
    • compliance contact details
    • changelog
    • attribution
    • contributing policy
    • keep always >=85% of software developers trained or tested on compliance
  • Contrast Openchain minimum legal requirements with Proposed best practices

  • “Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Compliance” Now in Chinese

Against Planned Obsolescence


Fundación Energía e innovación sostenible Sin Obsolescencia Programada (Foundation for sustainable innovation and energy without programmed obsolescence). Website in Spanish. They have a certification stamp called ISSOP (Innovación sostenible sin obsolescencia programada, Sustainable innovation without planned obsolescence). I'll summarize their decalogue for ISSOP compliance:

  • Produce products free from programmed obsolescence. Prefer buying products free from programmed obsolescence, environmentally friendly, local and from fair trade.

  • Reduce energy consumption and emissions.

  • Properly dispose of waste.

  • Promote social and environmentally responsible trade.

  • Preserve the environment.

  • Transparency on environmentally and social inclusiveness.

  • Avoid misleading or socially or environmentally irresponsible advertising.

  • Seek inclusiveness and equality.

  • Promote family, personal and work balance.

  • Push for CSR and include provisions against corruption in contracts .

I don't know further details on the criteria or certification producedure, but there's a contact form.


The environmentalist organization produced a report on "How repairable is your device" in June 2017. It summarises reports. They might be interested in hearing about repairable devices. They also have a guide to greener electronics ranking companies according to some criteria including repairability (but also greenhouse gas emissions, energy efficiency, avoiding hazardous materials, using recycled plastic, etc.). is an association of repair shops in USA. Has produced a (somewhat USA centric and hardware centric) report "Electronic standards are in need of repair" on the manufacturers' industry influence on standards bodies (such as IEEE) and certification agencies and its impact on the repairability, reuse and refurbishment possibilities, resulting in enviromental standards for electronics increasingly becoming greenwashing operations.

The report gives general criteria for sustainable design and the association might want to hear from sustainable devices or maybe offer advice or even services.

The association lobbies USA states for legislation requiring repairability in devices.


One of the requirements for repairability is availability of schematics and (dis)assembly information. publishes under CC-by 3.0 a format standard for manuals. Centered on images with annotations and text, intended for repair manuals or similar. It's XML based and includes offline use and web services. It can be transformed to HTML or PDF.


They ( have a wiki on how to repair devices, campaigns for the right to repair and other users rights and a collection of useful resources on both repairing things and understanding why it is important. They also offer resources on teaching others to repair stuff. They are quite well known and a good score in one of the guides or instructions for repair or assembly posted there could bring attention to a sustainable product from their many readers.