Socially Responsible Public Procurement - Play - and sports equipment

Here you find information about generalised risks of human rights breaches in the global supply chains of play-and sports equipment.

Risks of human rights breaches

Play and sports equipment span over a large variety of products, used for both indoor and outdoor activities. In both the play and sport equipment industries, a majority of large-scale production is located in emerging or developing countries. Light-weight items are primarily imported from Asian countries, whereas larger playground equipment such as slides and swings are usually produced closer to the market. For this reason, risks connected to this category vary to a large extent depending on the specific product in question. However, raw materials and components can come from a vast number of countries globally, including high-risk countries.

Risks of human rights abuse and environmental impact are present from raw material extraction to the assembly of the product. Many reports on toy and sports manufacturing industries in Asian countries illustrate poor working conditions with low wages, excessive overtime and hazardous working environments with exposure to heat and chemicals. Migrant workers as well as underaged workers are at risk of being exploited. Many of the products used include different types of plastic material, which brings health and safety concerns as well as risks of pollution.

Here you can read the whole report on human rights abuses in global supply chains of play- and sports equipment:

Risk assessment on human rights issues in the production of sports and play equipment (pdf.)
pdf 1 MB

Specific risk assessments

The table below gives a generalised estimate of the level of risk of human rights abuse in the main tiers of the play- and sports equipment supply chain (raw material extraction; component production and final assembling). Some products purchased by public procurers in Norway have been selected to exemplify the risk levels.

Product Assembly Component Raw material
Play and sports equipment High risk High risk High risk
Swings and slides Low risk Medium-high risk High risk
Mats Medium-high risk Medium-high risk Medium-high risk
Balls High risk High risk High risk
Skipping ropes Medium-high risk Medium-high risk High risk
Rackets High risk High risk High risk
Markers and crayons High risk High risk High risk
Toys High risk High risk High risk

Guidance for use of SRPP instruments when purchasing furniture

The level of risk of human rights abuse for the products examplified reveals that the the level of generalised risk of human rights abuse in the supply chains is high in all the tiers for play- and sports equipment. The risk level suggest use of the socially responsible public procurement (SRPP) instruments to promote human rights during the production process in the supply chain of play - and sports equipment. 

Disclaimer: Please notice that the level of risk for human rights abuses could vary for other types of products then the examples above. Furthermore, the risk assessments are based on supply chains for high risk products imported to Norway and the supply chain can look different for products imported to other countries/continents. 

1) Planning the purchase of high risk products 

When using the SRPP instruments, consider the core principles of public procurement: transparency, equal treatment, open competition, and sound procedural management.

Having an open dialogue – communicating expectations on human rights due diligence - with the supplier market is essential to prepare suppliers on the SRPP requirements.

2) Writing the tender documents for the purchase of high risk products 

The length of the contract and the financial value of the transaction should guide decision making towards investing main focus in the contracts with highest financial total value and the longest contract periods.

When having decided which tender documents that should be complemented with SRPP instruments, Norwegian public procurers are adviced to use the Difi high risk management database tool (currently only available in Norwegian).

SRPP special contract clauses  should be added to the tender documents.

It could also be considered to use selection criteria (currently only available in Norwegian) if the level of the market maturity is high (i.e several suppliers have human rights due diligence systems in place at the time of the writing of the tender documents).

3) Contract follow-up 

Using SRPP special contract clauses implies that the public entity shall follow up the contract. During contract follow-up of certain specific products - such as balls, rackets, toys (see table) - could be selected for more detailed control. Notice that the risk level in the different tiers of the supply chain differs and specific care could therefore be taken at the tiers with the highest risk.

SRPP self-assessment guidance could be used as reference for contract follow-up.

Oppdatert: 3. juni 2022

Fant du det du lette etter?

Det beklager vi!

Hva lette du etter? Bruk gjerne stikkord