Hull is UK's first city to pass 'conflict free' resolution

20 July 2015

Hull City Council has taken steps to help ensure its electronics procurement is “conflict free”.

Councillors voted on a resolution that will see the local authority do its best to ensure all purchased electronics are ethically sourced.

The motion followed work by campaign group Conflict-Free Hull to get the city to become the first in the UK to pass a conflict-free resolution. It had support from 24 student ambassadors, six teachers and support staff from the Sirius Academy and Thomas Ferens Academy.

The local authority said where it procures electronic products which contain gold, tin, tantalum, and tungsten from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or an adjoining country, it will “to the extent legally permissable consider in the procurement process whether such products contain ‘conflict minerals’, and to the extent permissible in law, will favour verifiably conflict-free products or companies making greater progress towards this goal”.

The council also called on companies from all sectors in the city to follow this lead, on electronics firms to invest in ethical mineral resourcing, and for an international certification system for minerals coming from central Africa.

The council said it noted trade in conflict minerals was one of the primary drivers of conflict in eastern Congo.

Mike Riley, who headed the campaign, said: “I am delighted that the council has decided to support this movement as many of these illegally sourced minerals end up in our electronic products, directly connecting us as consumers to the conflict.”

Councillor Rosie Nicola, portfolio holder for learning, skills and safeguarding children, said: “I am proud that Hull City Council is taking this stand, and that we are taking a conscientious and humane approach towards the materials we use. I hope this move will inspire others to follow suit.”

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