'Buy it Fair'. Guideline for the sustainable procurement of computers

ProcureITfair publishes ‘Buy IT fair’, a guideline that shows how public institutions can avoid buying IT-products that were produced under violation of
workers rights. With ‘Buy IT fair’ , ProcureITfair will intensify its efforts to open a dialogue with decision makers in public institutions. ProcureITfair offers support and advice in the preparation of tenders for sustainably produced IT.

'Buy it Fair'. Guideline for the sustainable procurement of computers

Public institutions have become a major customer of computer brand companies with a critical market share that can influence the sector’s development towards social and ecological goals. This guideline helps to implement sustainable tenders of computers. It has a special focus on the working conditions in the supply chains of brand name IT companies. Computer hardware is nowadays almost exclusively produced in developing countries, often under very bad working conditions. While there is a growing trend to consider ecological criteria in public procurement of computers, requirements for humane working conditions are often neglected. This guideline is pioneering in making criteria regarding the working conditions in the supply chain of computer brand companies applicable. It shows how procurement bodies can formulate specific minimum requirements and additional incentives to achieve this goal.

Although considerations about the working conditions in computer productions have not been prominent in public purchasing decisions in the past there are good opportunities to move ahead in this respect. The EU directives of 2004 provide a common European legal reference that allows the application of sustainability criteria. “Fair” and “green” public procurement has become a growing trend all over Europe ever since. New product groups and advanced procurement techniques are being explored by progressive procurement bodies – a good environment for sustainable procurement of computers. ProcureItfair hopes that this guideline will be a valuable device for a number of IT tenders in the future.

Alongside with the guideline, a set of Recommendations for sustainable procurement of computers has been formulated.

Guideline and Recommendations are published as part of the European campaign ProcureITfair – Campaign for Sustainable Procurement of Computers, in collaboration with ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. ProcureITfair seeks to promote a practice of public IT procurement that takes into account social and ecological considerations. Special attention is paid to the working conditions in the supply chain of computer brand companies in developing countries. ProcureITfair is coordinated by the German NGO World Economy, Ecology, and Development – WEED, and involves organisations in Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Spain, Poland and China.