Around the world the total amount of electronic waste has reached 53 million metric tonnes produced annually with no signs of abating. With ongoing and rapid advances in technology, and endless new innovative products released every year, electronic waste is one of the most hazardous and prevalent waste streams in the world:
Improving global production and end of life management of ICT can be achieved by encouraging vendors and suppliers to incorporate circularity in products and supply chains. While consumers and buyers have circular ambitions there is still disparity in size between the brands that supply ICT and its vast array of individual and institutional buyers. There is simply not enough demand and the market is too fragmented to provide clear and uniform supply that is required to accelerate circularity.
In 2019 Circular Innovation Council, through our ongoing leadership to champion circular procurement, was invited to join the United Nations’ One Planet Network’s Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the Sustainable Public Procurement program to help steer the agenda on procurement worldwide.
Through this initiative we have become the co-ordinating organization for Canada of a new global procurement consortium of governments and other convening organizations.
The Circular and Fair ICT Pact (CFIT) aims to accelerate circular and fair ICT by applying shared global ambitions in local tenders. In doing so, CFIT empowers public procurement of ICT:
By joining forces and bringing together ICT procurers in an international network we can speed up the transition to circular and fair ICT, both by helping procurers ask the right questions and by providing the industry with the right demand.
Government of the Netherlands
This is an exciting opportunity that builds international bridges and supports local outcomes through circular procurement. It also offers a chance to showcase Canadian leadership, increase resource productivity, and decouple carbon emissions and waste from operations.
Circular Innovation Council
The voluntary pact will start out with a focus on laptops and mobile devices, and over the course of the collaboration, widened to include other ICT products in consultation with participants, such as desktop computers, display devices, data centres, and sensors.
The ultimate goal is to reduce carbon emissions and use of primary materials, limit toxic chemicals, extend the lifespan of products, and use of recycled material and employment conditions.
Participating procuring organizations will be asked to keep track of a number of easy-to-measure parameters, such as the number and type of devices they procure.
This will showcase collective procurement power to the market and provide sufficient basis for calculating combined effects in terms of carbon emissions and raw materials saved. A working group on monitoring will be established to detail monitoring provisions and provide guidelines and easy-to-use contract clauses to acquire requested information.
Federal Ministry, Republic of Austria, Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology
Federal Institute for Sustainable Development Belgium Walloon Region; Agency for Facility Operations, Flanders
Circular Innovation Council
German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management
Norwegian Agency for Public and Financial Management
Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN)
United Kingdom Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs
Circular Innovation Council will be assembling a Canada cohort of public and private organizations to act as collaborators and advisors.
We invite you to take action with us on ICT and put circular economy concepts into action.