Social Responsibility and Sustainability

What is the University doing?

The University of Edinburgh has become the first higher education institution in the UK adopt a formal conflict minerals policy.

The University's policy, which was passed on 1st March 2016 by the University’s Central Management Group, is a commitment to working towards eradicating Conflict Minerals from the goods bought by the University. This is done by investigating suppliers’ efforts to combat conflict minerals and requesting evidence of any actions and outcomes.  As well as embedding this commitment across the University, we will work collaboratively with procurement consortia and the wider public sector. 

The policy also includes a commitment to developing further academic research and learning about Conflict Minerals. This research may help inform purchasing options.  This multi-faceted strategy is part of the University’s Living Lab approach to problem solving, aiming to further the institution’s knowledge and action in the area of conflict minerals. Findings and best practice will be shared with other institutions.

How the policy works

The policy builds on the Sustainable Procurement strategy and founding membership of Electronics Watch, an EU-wide initiative which supports public buyers in calling for fair working conditions in electronics manufacturing.

The Procurement Office is responsible for striving to ensure large purchases of electronics goods do not contain conflict minerals, while the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability will work to encourage further research and raise awareness amongst smaller-scale purchasers.

Read the policy

Our Conflict Minerals Policy has been amended in October 2017 to explicitly recognise the risk of conflict minerals in other commodities beyond ICT , such as in construction and vehicles.

What do I need to do?

University staff who want to purchase electronics good should consider the risk that their purchases might contain conflict minerals. The best way to comply with the University’s new policy is to purchase goods via a centrally approved channel or supply contract (e.g. via SciQuest (secured)).

If you’d like more support or advice, please see sustainable procurement or contact us:


What is the University doing about Conflict Minerals? Policy: Research, supply chain investigations, sharing best practice

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