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Procure sustainable products and be responsible with asset disposal


Segment    Family    Class




SDG Alignment

12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

SDG Target


Target Description

By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse

Level of Effort

Level of Effort Scale


1 -Quick Wins: solution involves adding criteria for the good or service being purchased (ex: certifications), minimal internal process changes.

2 -Long Term Adoption: solution requires some changes to internal processes and/or more capital investment (ex: digital transformation to reduce paper use).

3 – Disruptive Opportunities: requires significant investment and changes to internal processes (ex: retrofitting building)

Category Assessment

ETCH Procurement Process .png


• Evaluate options with higher longevity and quality assurance - check if the supplier is ISO 14001, ISO 9001 certified and compliant.

• Evaluate potential opportunity to refurbish products for reuse and commercial benefits of recycling end product.

• Evaluate which standards are currently in place for recycling and reusing hardware. Ask the supplier for visibility into where their materials are procured from and read through any environmental/sustainable reports if the supplier has on their website.

• Understand the suppliers' organizational policy for prioritizing extension of product lifespans, equipment repair, and refurbishment.

Opportunity Identification 

Cost reductions and/or saving opportunities associated and potential scope for growth as suppliers diversify their services.

A proper recycling/ reuse program can prevent hazardous waste from entering the landfill. The reuse of materials reduces the exposure of chemicals to environment from the production and disposal process.

Strategy Build & Execution

• Align with suppliers on the potential for implementation of a takeback/exchange program.

• Implement a company policy to ensure that employees are following the necessary procedures for recycling and have training programs instructing employees of the necessary procedures.

• Training program can be provided to IT/technology staff representatives, procurement officer personnel, the chief information officer (CIO), and product end-user as well.

• Develop a green strategy around product disposal and identify suppliers that can help you with achieving green targets, consider:
(a) Suppliers that have in place, a buyback or trade-in program of telecom equipment you no longer require; this will allow additional inventory overhead for parts you need. It can also act as a way to generate additional revenue for your budget needs.
(b) Suppliers that have an inclusive recycling program in their service offering; parts that can no longer by refurbished to be disposed of safely, allowing you to track the carbon reduction progress.
(c) Suppliers that build their services around sustainability, and is aligned to your green targets; a supplier that is best-fit to your organization should be able to package their offerings into a turnkey solution, with all activities carried out in line with regulatory legislation.

Supplier Negotiation & Contract

• For contracts, require that your vendors to provide takeback services using providers certified under the R2 or E-Stewards Standards (or non-US equivalent program), as well as TCO certified electronics. This can easily be modified into an exchange program if the suppliers need more of an incentive to do a takeback program.

• Consider contract-specific items to be included in your Request for Proposal (RFP), when selecting suppliers; specify goals and targets that are specific to your targets.

• Leverage long term contacts and additional business creation to your advantage.

Supplier Performance & Management

• Integrate annual checks for conflict mineral reporting, compliance with warranty/quality assurance clauses.

• Establish internal and external reporting on the specific product being purchased, refurbished, and disposed of; confirm manufacturer compliance with standards.

Resource Links

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