Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Conflict minerals

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

Read our March 2017 briefing ‘How can universities contribute to tackling conflict minerals?’ for insights into our approach.

What is the University doing?

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.


Find out what staff can do

Find out what students can do


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