The Dutch government has launched an initiative for more sustainable electronics, such as laptops and smartphones. To this end, the Netherlands is signing the ICT Charter, which will work with Belgium. Other European countries also participate. The agreement aims to ensure “a transparent production process in which workers’ rights are protected”.
According to Foreign Minister Stientje van Veldhoven of the Department of Infrastructure and Water, the electronics sector accounts for more than 2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions and products with short lives. You write that this must change. For example, iPhones are used for only a year and a half, while they contain many rare raw materials.
In addition to the Netherlands and Belgium, Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland signed the agreement. Contact is under discussion with other countries, such as Canada. In the future, both countries and organizations that purchase ICT products will be able to sign up for the agreement.
According to Van Veldhoven, the agreement allows buyers to show that there is a demand for circular ICT products. This, in turn, should incentivize producers to make products truly circular and development towards this sort of thing could be accelerated, the Secretary of State wrote.
With the agreement, the signatories are also committed to sustainably purchasing ICT products. This should result in an international network with the knowledge that will enable them to stand up usually stronger against bigger and stronger producers, the Secretary of State believes. According to Van Veldhoven, this will also make it easier for consumers to choose a sustainable phone or tablet.
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