Organizations join forces for sustainable procurement of ICT equipment

More than 100 public and private organizations that purchase ICT equipment have united in the 'Buyer Group ICT'. This Buyer Group wants to actively contribute to a circular economy with an ambitious purchasing policy. In recent months, the Amsterdam Economic Board, as part of a group of 10 organizations, has helped shape a market vision and strategy. For example, work is being done on a more uniform working method, for example by setting the same requirements for circularity and sustainability.

The ICT industry is responsible for two percent of all global CO2 emissions. That percentage is expected to grow to eight percent. In addition, the sector is the largest consumer of 14 of the 17 critical raw materials and ICT equipment is replaced relatively quickly. Often before the technical lifespan has expired.

Joint sustainability requirements

Many organizations want to contribute to a circular economy with their purchasing policy. More sustainable production is only interesting to the market when it concerns very large volumes. That is why the organizations have united. The harmonization of the request by several purchasing organizations also stimulates the market. This makes it clear to them how they can respond to the sustainable ambition of a large group of buyers.

Buyer Group ICT

The Buyer Group ICT (in Dutch) is executed by Rijkswaterstaat on behalf of the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and supported by SURF and PIANOo . In this way they work together on a sustainable living environment. Realizing impact through purchasing is central to the Buyer Group ICT. All organizations that are active in the field of purchasing ICT equipment can join this.

Market vision and strategy

A leading group of ten affiliated organizations has drawn up the market vision and strategy. This document contains concrete advice and criteria for use during the purchasing process. In addition, the members of the Buyer Group have agreed that they will pay the same attention to circular ICT in their purchasing process.

Circular Netherlands in 2050

The demand for raw materials for, for example, food, electrical appliances and clothing is increasing strongly worldwide. That is why the government works together with the business community, knowledge institutes and nature and environmental organizations, governments, trade unions, financial institutions and other social organizations to use raw materials more economically and smarter. With the aim of a circular Netherlands in 2050.

Socially responsible purchasing policy

A socially responsible purchasing policy ensures that organizations instruct suppliers to handle raw materials carefully in their production process. Rijkswaterstaat encourages and facilitates organizations that want to get started with this. By bringing people together, setting example criteria, writing manuals, or sharing knowledge.


In order to achieve a circular economy in the Netherlands, changes must also be made internationally. Both in Europe and worldwide. Because chains of raw materials and waste flows are international. And not all discarded products or materials end up in the Netherlands or even Europe. In addition, many companies operate internationally. Rijkswaterstaat therefore cooperates as much as possible with other countries. Within the European Union, but also within the United Nations. On an international level, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management and Rijkswaterstaat launched the Circular and Fair ICT Pact in June 2021. With this pact, buyers in various countries will collaborate on making laptops and smartphones more sustainable.

Interested in sustainable procurement?

At the beginning of October 2021, a new leading group will start working on the implementation of the Market Vision and Strategy. Are you also interested in getting started and exchanging knowledge with other organizations? It is still possible to sign up with the buyer group.

Download the Market Vision and Strategy Buyer Group ICT here (in Dutch).

29 September 2021

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