Fairphone and "The Responsible Business Initiative" in Switzerland

I kindly ask for a clear supportive statement of Fairphone.

Switzerland has a referendum on “The Responsible Business Initiative” in November which wants multinationals to respect human rights and the environment in their activities abroad. You can find more information here: https://corporatejustice.ch/about-the-initiative/.

Politicians refer to Fairphone and a statement of Bas Van Abel to fight against the initiative. Fairphone should react immediately to such tweets, clarify this misunderstandings and support the initiative. There are companies which are supporting it as well. And Fairphone claims to be an industry leader. It’s time to prove it!

FA Screenshot 2020-11-07 095021

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My German isn’t that good, I hope I got the tweets right. Just sharing a thought.
I don’t think Fairphone never claimed to be 100% fair or sustainable, but the claim to be (1)better then the industry, (2) willing to improve. They started to address the conflict minerals issue (4 material), they then added a focus on working conditions in the production, they added fair gold, they added recycled plastic. There are still lots of minerals, materials whose supply might have issue we don’t know of. You can hardly build a fair and sustainable supply chain in one night, you need time.


I fully understand. But we are not talking about being 100 % fair or sustainable. This initiative aims to introduce a risk based mandatory human rights due diligence instrument for companies according to the UN Ruggie principles. So - why for heaven’s sake - should this be an issue for Fairphone?

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If this is important to you, please send Fairphone an email (and maybe cut down on the demands and the capitalisation of words) - this is a user forum, FP staff don’t necessarily read the threads here.

Aside from that, I think that while this initiative is admirable, its wording is too weak to be effective. I’m sad to say I’ve read their entire initiative text, and aside from referring to “harm” and “due diligence”, there isn’t much in there that’ll keep companies from using unethical suppliers - after they’ve instructed their lawyers to write some copy about how we can “strengthen respect for human rights and the environment through business” by installing suicide nets in Chinese factories.

That tweet by Leroy Bächtold has a couple of interesting responses under it, and once you read the article it links to you can read the entire paragraph that quote was taken from:

Wie fair ist das Fairphone?

Da muss ich jetzt etwas ausholen. Ein Smartphone besteht aus über 80 verschiedenen Mineralien, die in Minen rund um die Welt aus dem Boden geholt werden. Ausserdem ist bei der Herstellung eine riesige Kette von Fabriken und Zulieferern involviert, denn ein Mobiltelefon besteht aus 1200 Komponenten. Dies alles zu kontrollieren, ist nahezu unmöglich. Man könnte genauso gut versuchen, den Weltfrieden zu schaffen. Wir fokussieren auf ein paar Aspekte mit den dringendsten Problemen, etwa auf Gesundheit und Sicherheit der Minenarbeiter. Dazu haben wir ein Konsortium gegründet, mit dem wir versuchen, gewisse Regeln durchzusetzen, etwa Schürfen ohne Kinderarbeit in Uganda. Doch die gibt es natürlich trotz unserer Bemühungen auch dort noch immer, weil es an Orten ohne Schulen und Infrastruktur kaum Alternativen gibt und die Familien auf jedes bisschen Einkommen angewiesen sind. Unsere Mission ist, die Situation zu verbessern – wer ein Fairphone kauft, trägt dazu bei. Und inzwischen nutzen auch andere Hersteller unsere Lieferketten.

TL;DR: don’t get your news off Twitter


This is a community forum and I thought other community members, especially from Switzerland or Germany, could be interested in such topics as well. So, relax, no reason for you to be rude. You can be assured that I am not getting my news off Twitter. If you don’t want to comment this topic, then just don’t do it. Nobody forced you to read this. :wink:

What is annoying to me is that a very prominent Swiss politician is re-tweeting a statement which is (at least) assuming that Fairphone does not support the initiative. This is why I a statement from Fairphone would be appropriate.

But I do want to comment on this topic!

I did not suggest emailing FP to the exclusion of posting about it on the forum - but either way, you cannot be surprised at getting a bit of pushback when you post a demand like yours, including allcaps and exclamation marks, accompanied only by a Twitter screenshot.

That’s a far more reasonable statement than the one in your title, and far more straightforward and easy to understand than your initial comment. I’m all for it!


Why not tweet back on the Twitter site of this Swiss politician? If you are lucky, your tweet gets viral.


Well, acutally you were rude in the first sentence of your post already.

“Demanding” something without having a normal conversation first doesn’t get you anywhere. I am pinging Fairphone’s community manager @rae here, maybe she can help you. But please remember to stay polite! :slight_smile:


I am not on Twitter and I can’t speak for Fairphone.

Dear Stanzi,

This was meant to be a request and an impulse for community discussions.

And it is obvious that English is for many people here (me included) not the first language. So please treat this as a polite request and let’s put the semantic sophistry aside.

The question behind is interesting tough. Does Fairphone reacts or comments policy discussions in Switzerland and Germany (https://www.derbund.ch/deutsche-regierung-streitet-ueber-die-konzernverantwortung-120614842711). Does the Fairphone movement wants that Fairphone is actively supporting these developments?

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Thanks for your support. I have removed allcaps and exclamation marks, hope this clarifies my point.


I guess your edited thread-title does so much mare to achieve this.
Thanks for this!! :heart:


I understand your motives, but an official statement from Fairphone here would probably have to be considered an interference in Swiss internal affairs. Also, others have already mentioned that this is a community forum with no official involvement from Fairphone.

Best wishes,


Here’s Bas’ statement on Twitter


Thank you, Ingo. I could not open the link, but the post looks like this:


Thats wonderful to hear!


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