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A global OEM is calling on European governments to prioritize sustainability when they purchase electronics.

Dell Technologies has issued a statement calling on European government leaders and the IT industry to work together to ensure public procurement policies take more into account than just the lowest price.

Dell is involved in e-scrap recycling in a number of ways. The company runs collection programs in partnership with e-scrap industry players. During the 2018 fiscal year, the OEM estimates it recovered over 177 million pounds of used electronics. Some of the commodities make their way back into Dell devices. The company has established closed-loop supply chains to recycle gold, e-plastics and rare earths from e-scrap into new Dell devices. The company has also been recognized by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) for its recycling-friendly designs.

In its statement, Dell noted that the European Union (EU) passed a directive in 2014 strengthening the ability of government officials to buy electronics based on criteria beyond pricing, including sustainability. But research by the European Commission, which is the EU’s executive branch, found that over half of public purchasing contracts are still awarded based solely on lowest price.

As lingering barriers, Dell pointed to a lack of dialogue between government and industry, as well as a lack of guidance on applying social and environmental sustainability criteria to purchasing. The statement notes Dell Technologies is working with the Responsible Business Alliance to development industry guidelines for responsible IT public procurement in 2019.

Photo credit: Bobica10/Shutterstock

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