17 December 2019

Flemish buyers go for fair and circular ICT!

On 9 December, the ‘Conference on Fair & Circular ICT’ was hosted by the Procura+ Participant City of Ghent, organised by Fair ICT Flanders in collaboration with the project Make ICT Fair - in which ICLEI contributes with support to pilot procurements of fair ICT.
It was the first conference in Flanders to be entirely dedicated to the theme: “How can you, as an ICT buyer, do your bit towards a more sustainable world?” With 110 participants, the conference shows that the theme is very much alive among buyers, sustainability employees and ICT professionals from public institutions and private companies.

The power of responsible purchasing

The production of laptops, smartphones, and servers is accompanied by many human rights violations and has an enormous ecological impact. With this conference, Fair ICT Flanders want to provide concrete tools for large buyers of ICT hardware from the public and private sectors in Flanders. Through their purchasing policy, they can put pressure on the ICT companies and contribute to improving the local working and living conditions within the ICT supply chain.

Alain Linard, Head of Operations at Digipolis Gent indicated: “We want to use people’s tax money in a responsible way. We do not want to contribute to human rights violations through our purchases and thus assume our responsibility.”

Front-runners from the EU and Flanders presented their good examples and the participants were able to enter into a dialogue with the invited experts. Ideas and possibilities to work on fair and/or circular ICT were discussed at discussion tables. The participants went home with a lot of inspiration and new ideas.

Learn more about Fair ICT Flanders.
Learn more about ICLEI’s work in Make ICT Fair.