The Challenge

ICT has changed our lives and society for the better, by connecting people, by opening up information on levels never seen before and by greatly boosting innovation. We can no longer imagine our lives without our laptops, our smartphones and our data centres.

At the same time, ICT is responsible for an estimated 2% of global carbon emissions (more than the entire aviation industry) and this percentage is rapidly rising, up to as much as 14% in 2040. This is mainly caused by the rise of data centres and the growing production of smartphones. In addition, ICT generates close to 50 million tons of e-waste a year, worth well over 60 billion dollars (more than the gross domestic product of most countries). Of this mountain of e-waste 80% is not recycled. This means a vast loss of resources and rare materials used in ICT. For instance, up to 7% of all the world’s gold may currently be contained in e-waste. Not to mention the unacceptable working conditions this helps create in mining, manufacturing and waste management.

Clearly, something has to change.

The ARCTIC team calls on you to join forces across the value chain in a single industry-government-procurement-society parties’ effort

Both demand and supply market sides seem to struggle in defining how to achieve the ambitious targets set by the public sector to have 100% circular ICT procurement in the near future (e.g. Netherlands in 2050). Therefor there’s a need for industry, government and procurement to jointly:

  • achieve policy goals, have a common definition of ‘circular’ and accompanying commitments under the Paris Agreement and the SDGs
  • help enhance the sustainability of the ICT sector
  • make sustainable procurement move forward by creating demand and buy-in
  • share knowledge and experiences to support development and the staged implementation, before or by 2030, of 100% circular and transparent ICT products and services procurement
  • stay informed along the way to learn about, adapt to, develop and implement best circular practices
  • The ARCTIC program will allow a to be established single multi-stakeholder program with industry, government, civil society and involved procurement parties to deliver upon the promise of a 100% circular and transparent ICT procurement chain