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Sustainable Public Procurement Programme



Interest Group - Circular & Fair ICT Pact

Accelerating the transition towards circular and fair ICT through the power of procurement

The Circular & Fair ICT Pact (CFIT) is an international procurement-led partnership to promote circularity, fairness and sustainability in the ICT sector. CFIT will stimulate the use of common, easy-to-use procurement criteria, provide guidance and facilitate knowledge sharing. Together CFIT participants will leverage their collective procurement power, in close dialogue with the ICT supply side, to accelerate the change and innovation we need. CFIT is an action under the UN One Planet Network SPP programme.


ICT is a fundamental part of our daily lives. At the same time the mining, production, usage and waste of ICT on a global scale is not without consequences. The sector is responsible for more than 2% of global CO2 emissions and this percentage is growing. In addition, the sector is dependent on scarce and non-renewable resources and confronted with environmental, human and labour rights challenges in the value chain. While efforts are being made by the industry and others to address these challenges, it is time for ICT procurers to step up and contribute to this much needed change. The demand created through (public) procurement can be an important lever to help speed up the necessary change by creating an increased and consistent demand for circular and fair ICT. That is what the Circular & Fair ICT Pact aims for. 

Ambitions and scope

Our ambition is to implement a procurement strategy that drives the market for circular and fair ICT. For CFIT participants, a procurement strategy does not only focus at procurement itself, but also at operational management, contract management as well as end-of-use management. To us, procuring circular, means we aim to maximize the lifetime of products and their components, stimulate innovation, boost the use of repair, refurbishment and remanufacturing, close material chains and minimize carbon emissions and environmental impacts. Procuring fair means we aim to have transparent value chains and champion social justice, human rights and fair working conditions. This is our way to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Our approach

CFIT recognizes two types of participants, procuring and coordinating participants. Procuring organizations form the backbone of CFIT. To empower them, the programme will provide best practices, ambitious guidelines and easy-to-use baseline criteria. In signing the Pact, procurers agree to use the baseline criteria when possible, or to experiment with more ambitious pilots and to share their experiences.



To support and inspire the procuring organizations, the Pact will facilitate setting up buyer groups. Long experience shows that procurers are best helped by working together with their peers in their own language. Working in a buyer group means doing your own pilots or tenders, while learning from each other, building up knowledge and tools together, engaging the market together and joining forces when needed in research and innovation.

What is a Buyer Group?

A buyer group brings together organizations that have the ambition to procure circular and fair ICT. Members are committed to improve their procurement, as well as their operational, contract and end-of-use management. In the buyer group good practices are shared, knowledge sessions and market consultations are organized and challenges discussed. In this way peer-learning is facilitated, accelerating each individual organization’s learning process. The Pact also facilitates knowledge sharing between buyer groups in different countries and regions.

Governments with circular and fair ambitions can join the pact as a coordinating organization. Their role is to bring together and support a buyer group, help guide programme ambitions, organize monitoring and communicate the collective results. This role is crucial in building up national or regional collective procurement power. The buyer groups will have a flexible set-up, allowing for differences in how procurement is organized in each country or region.

At an international level the pact organizes working groups with procurement specialists and experts from different countries. The working groups will tackle topics like circular criteria and guidance for specific product groups (e.g. laptops and mobile phones), specific themes (e.g. social justice) or specific tasks (e.g. monitoring or collecting and evaluating existing criteria). To do this, they will engage in a high-level dialogue with the supplying market (ICT brands and value chain partners), policymakers, non-profit organizations and NGOs about current demand and future innovation. A working group can also draw up a joint statement of demand for a specific product group that buyers can sign up to.

How to join?

You can find the Pact and more information on our website Joining the Pact is easy. Return a signed copy of the Pact to the CFIT secretariat at and start buying circular and fair today.

Why join? The Pact offers: 

  • Access to best practices, proven tools and criteria.
  • A network of peers both in your own country and internationally.
  • A platform to leverage our joint procurement power to accelerate change of the ICT sector.

Initiator & partners

The ICT Pact was initiated by The Netherlands.

Launching Partners

The governments of:

  • The Netherlands (I&W)
  • Belgium (FIDO)
  • Germany (BMU)
  • Norway (DFO)
  • The United Kingdom (DEFRA)
  • Austria (BMNT)
  • Switzerland (FOEN)

and the Circular Innovation Council of Canada. 

Coordinator contact