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ICT and Strategic Sustainable Development: Proposing a Sustainable ICT Hardware Procurement Framework Considering Relevance and Feasibility

Tanskanen, Tanja LU (2016) In IIIEE Masters Thesis IMEN41 20162
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world in business sales, energy consumption as well as waste streams. It is pressured for conflict minerals, unsustainable raw material use and hazardous substances, and must quickly respond to these challenges. One way to drive this change is sustainable procurement, with environmental and social minimum and award criteria at its core. There are increasing number of guidelines, ecolabels and standards to guide buyers in implementing sustainable procurement. One emergent approach is circular procurement, inspired by the circular economy movement. In this solution mix, ICT hardware procurer needs to find the way among the data to develop... (More)
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world in business sales, energy consumption as well as waste streams. It is pressured for conflict minerals, unsustainable raw material use and hazardous substances, and must quickly respond to these challenges. One way to drive this change is sustainable procurement, with environmental and social minimum and award criteria at its core. There are increasing number of guidelines, ecolabels and standards to guide buyers in implementing sustainable procurement. One emergent approach is circular procurement, inspired by the circular economy movement. In this solution mix, ICT hardware procurer needs to find the way among the data to develop sustainability criteria and approaches for procurement, which are feasible for their organization.
The aim of this thesis is to develop a procurement framework for sustainable ICT hardware in order to assist purchasers in this journey. The framework was derived by literature analysis of 20 existing frameworks (ecolabels, sustainable procurement guidelines, industry initiatives and academic frameworks for sustainable ICT management), 11 interviews with framework developers or managers and validated via workshop discussions with a sustainability expert, business analyst and two procurers in a large international furniture retailer. The Framework for Strategic Sustainability (FSSD) is used as an overall guiding analytical framework.
The sustainable ICT hardware procurement framework consists of two core dimensions: enabling elements (management, people and measurement) and sustainable procurement criteria (used for pre-qualification and tendering). The results show that the core elements are essential for ensuring visibility and facilitating action; yet, especially the implementation of sustainability criteria suffers from lack of procurers’ uptake and accountability of using the criteria in decentralized procurement. Thus, the implementation should be a gradual process from the most relevant sustainability hotspots to a more comprehensive set to facilitate a greater uptake. The assessed frameworks do not give sufficient guidance on the first steps (where to start) and the objectives (where to aim). The strengths of the proposed framework include: the first exploration of maturity steps for sustainability criteria for ICT hardware based on back-casting as well as visualization of the link between ICT life cycle and procurement cycle. However, further testing on the feasibility of the proposed criteria structuring approach is needed. (Less)
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author
Tanskanen, Tanja LU
supervisor
organization
course
IMEN41 20162
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Green ICT, sustainable ICT, sustainable procurement, circular economy, criteria, FSSD, Strategic Sustainable Development
publication/series
IIIEE Masters Thesis
report number
2016:46
ISSN
1401-9191
language
English
id
8893202
date added to LUP
2016-10-11 03:10:57
date last changed
2016-10-11 03:10:57
@misc{8893202,
  abstract     = {Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world in business sales, energy consumption as well as waste streams. It is pressured for conflict minerals, unsustainable raw material use and hazardous substances, and must quickly respond to these challenges. One way to drive this change is sustainable procurement, with environmental and social minimum and award criteria at its core. There are increasing number of guidelines, ecolabels and standards to guide buyers in implementing sustainable procurement. One emergent approach is circular procurement, inspired by the circular economy movement. In this solution mix, ICT hardware procurer needs to find the way among the data to develop sustainability criteria and approaches for procurement, which are feasible for their organization.
The aim of this thesis is to develop a procurement framework for sustainable ICT hardware in order to assist purchasers in this journey. The framework was derived by literature analysis of 20 existing frameworks (ecolabels, sustainable procurement guidelines, industry initiatives and academic frameworks for sustainable ICT management), 11 interviews with framework developers or managers and validated via workshop discussions with a sustainability expert, business analyst and two procurers in a large international furniture retailer. The Framework for Strategic Sustainability (FSSD) is used as an overall guiding analytical framework.
The sustainable ICT hardware procurement framework consists of two core dimensions: enabling elements (management, people and measurement) and sustainable procurement criteria (used for pre-qualification and tendering). The results show that the core elements are essential for ensuring visibility and facilitating action; yet, especially the implementation of sustainability criteria suffers from lack of procurers’ uptake and accountability of using the criteria in decentralized procurement. Thus, the implementation should be a gradual process from the most relevant sustainability hotspots to a more comprehensive set to facilitate a greater uptake. The assessed frameworks do not give sufficient guidance on the first steps (where to start) and the objectives (where to aim). The strengths of the proposed framework include: the first exploration of maturity steps for sustainability criteria for ICT hardware based on back-casting as well as visualization of the link between ICT life cycle and procurement cycle. However, further testing on the feasibility of the proposed criteria structuring approach is needed.},
  author       = {Tanskanen, Tanja},
  issn         = {1401-9191},
  keyword      = {Green ICT,sustainable ICT,sustainable procurement,circular economy,criteria,FSSD,Strategic Sustainable Development},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  series       = {IIIEE Masters Thesis},
  title        = {ICT and Strategic Sustainable Development: Proposing a Sustainable ICT Hardware Procurement Framework Considering Relevance and Feasibility},
  year         = {2016},
}