3 December 2020

European public buyers share good practice on how to make ICT fair

A leading group of European public authorities, guided by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability and Electronics Watch, have piloted socially responsible procurement of ICT hardware. The group includes ICLEI members and Procura+ Participants Barcelona City Council (Spain), Municipality of Haarlem (Netherlands), City of Stavanger (Norway) as well as Procura+ Participant APUC Scotland (UK) and Region Stockholm (Sweden). Ranging from including award criteria, conducting market dialogue or sound contract management, the five public buyers took critical steps towards a fairer electronics supply chain. 

Public procurement as facilitator of improvements in global supply chains regarding human and labour rights as well as environmental impacts is gaining ground. International initiatives like the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the European Commission’s Green Deal showcase public procurement as an important implementation mechanism towards decent work and sustainable consumption and production. The power of public buyers is immense, especially if they follow a strategic approach based on dialogue that uses independent monitoring to prepare engagement with their supply chains aiming for continuous and meaningful  improvements.


Collated in five unique case studies, you can read up on their approach, including what they learned from market engagement or which criteria and clauses they used. At the end of each case study we highlight key lessons learned, with the intention to add value to other public buyers who are tasked with procuring fair ICT. 

The advantage of having requirements on due diligence, routines and procedures is that if they are well implemented, it will have an impact on the supplier’s entire business.” Kathleen McCaughey, Manager Sustainable Supply Chains, Region Stockholm

The municipality of Stavanger is very pleased to see the depth of information delivered in the tenders for the procurement of Chromebook. We have been working with ethical trading for several years and are happy to see the recent development in the ICT sector. Our aim is to help push the sector towards a more sustainable and transparent future and will therefore continue using social responsibility as qualification- and award criteria.” – Elin Seveholt, Sustainability Advisor, Municipality of Stavanger

You have to start focusing on contract management to collect the benefits of the criteria you included. The more details you ask about, the more time you need to use on the follow up to make sure that you get it. The suppliers need to know that they will be measured on the extra effort they did to answer the social criteria.” - Rudy de Vries, Senior Policy Advisor for Sustainability, Municipality of Haarlem

First of all, talk both with politicians, legal services and providers. A successful implementation of social criteria depends on support and cooperation with different stakeholders. [...] Cross-country knowledge sharing gives valuable insight into methods, tools and procedures for taking our SRPP work forward.”- Carla Canal Rosich, International Relations Officer, Barcelona City Council

We have developed a Responsible Procurement Action Plan based on the UN Sustainability Goals and appointed a Responsible Procurement Coordinator. We try to develop lessons learned from our procurement activities, from both within our IT category and other categories.” - Michael McLaughlin, Head of Category – Information Services, APUC Scotland

Explore socially responsible public procurement of 

- Audio-visual equipment by Advanced Procurement for Universities & Colleges (APUC) Scotland 

- Computer equipment by the Municipal Institute of Computer Science of Barcelona City Council

- Workspace hardware and mobile devices by the municipality of Haarlem

- Chromebooks, municipality of Stavanger

- ICT equipment, Region Stockholm

Want to learn directly from the leading procurers? Join us for our second webinar session on Dec 10th 10:00 AM CET ! This time with Michael McLaughlin, Head of Category – Information Services, APUC and Kathleen McCaughey, Manager Sustainable Supply Chains, Region Stockholm. Register now!

This work took place in the context of the European project ‘Make ICT Fair’, which aims at improving the lives of workers and those impacted along different stages of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) supply chain through research, campaigning, capacity building and advocacy.