Short Circuit – Lifecycle of Electronic Gadgets and the True Cost to Earth

The Gaia Foundation in conjunction with the APPCCG

Report Launch: Short Circuit – The Lifecycle of Our Electronic Gadgets
and the True
Cost to Earth
Wednesday, 24th April 2013, 3:00 – 4:30pm, Committee Room 11,
House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

We are pleased to invite you to the launch of our new report: Short Circuit – The Lifecycle of Our Electronic Gadgets and the True Cost to Earth, from The Gaia Foundation and collaborative partners including the London Mining Network and Friends of the Earth.

The Short Circuit report follows on from the 2012 report, Opening Pandora’s Box, also launched with the APPCCG in February 2012. Opening Pandora’s Box exposed the global acceleration of land grabbing and environmental destruction by the extractive industries. The Short Circuit report explores one of the drivers of this expansion in mining – the production of consumer electronic products. It looks at each stage of the lifecycle of modern electronic gadgets such as smartphones and laptops, from extraction to production, design and marketing, through to use and disposal. The story of our electronic gadgets is characterised by devastating extractive processes, human rights abuses, complex transnational supply chains, inbuilt obsolescence and rapid technology upgrades, e-waste, toxic waste, and at the heart of it all, the desire to have the latest gadget, no matter what the true cost. The aim of the Short Circuit report is to expose the hidden costs behind these electronic items so that as individuals and as a society we can re-evaluate their true value.

This report launch will bring together a panel to discuss the failings of the current system and the ways in which we can act for change.


  • Liz Hosken, Director, The Gaia Foundation. Gaia and allies are releasing the report.
  • Richard Solly, Coordinator, the London Mining Network. The LMN exposes the role of companies listed on the London Stock Exchange and London-based funders in the promotion of unacceptable mining projects.
  • Julian Kirby, Resource Use Campaigner at Friends of the Earth England, Wales & Northern Ireland. FoE’s Make It Better campaign is calling for tough new laws to ensure that phone manufacturers and other companies reveal the full social and environmental impacts of their supply chains.
  • Sophie Thomas, co-director of design at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and co-founder of The Great Recovery Project which is bringing together designers, material experts, manufacturers, retailers, policy makers, government, and consumers to create initiatives which move us towards a circular economy. She is a pioneer in sustainable communication design and Director of Design for the Useful Simple Trust.

If you would like to attend this meeting, RSVP to Helen Strong on or telephone: +44 (0) 207 428 0055. Please enter by Cromwell Green (visitors) entrance and allow about 15 minutes to pass through security.