Operators report due diligence on China source EV buses
Wellington bus operators Tranzurban and NZ Bus have responded to questions from Greater Wellington about sourcing electric buses from Chinese manufacturer CRRC Corporation Limited (CRRC), both reporting that their due diligence revealed no evidence of the company using forced labour.
The assurances came in the context of Australian research published last year that alleged CRRC used forced labour from the Uyghur community in its manufacturing processes.
Given that Greater Wellington's bus operators Tranzurban and NZ Bus between them have contracts for 98 new electric buses for Metlink, the regional council sought information from both companies on their supply chain and procurement processes.
"We have always placed a premium on integrity of the supply chain, and while we are not the owners or purchasers of the buses, we have sought assurance from our operators around its integrity," says chair of the Greater Wellington Regional Council Transport Committee Cr Roger Blakeley.
In letters to the companies, Greater Wellington asked them for the most up to date information on their supply chain for purchase of the buses, including the scale of product(s) being sourced from China, the agencies involved and the manufacturing origin of the product(s). Greater Wellington also asked the bus operators to confirm the due diligence that they undertook during procurement.
Their responses noted that each company had satisfied itself, to the extent they could, about labour conditions following visits to CRRC workshops.
"We are pleased by the prompt and positive response from our operators who, like us, strongly object to the use of forced labour or working with companies that tolerate unacceptable conditions for workers," says Metlink General Manager Scott Gallacher.
"Greater Wellington is moving forward on building protections into its procurement guidelines to strengthen levels of due diligence applied to companies which supply goods and services to us, whether directly or indirectly.
"This is a matter of integrity for Greater Wellington. We will not accept goods and services built on labour that is forced or which works in unacceptable conditions," adds Scott Gallacher.
Greater Wellington's request and letters in response from our operators can be found here.
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