District09, the ICT partner of the City of Ghent , actively works on sustainable ICT and focuses in particular on extending the lifespan of devices. For example, business devices are extended to five years, after which an evaluation follows and they can be reused. If the device is completely defective, it is dismantled and the parts are reused. The City of Ghent then calls on RECUPEL to collect and process their discarded products. District09 also offers Fairphones, 'the most sustainable smartphone in the world', as a business device.
Just like the University of Ghent, the City of Ghent, as a pilot organization of the Fair ICT Flanders project, has been working for some time on a sustainable purchasing and processing policy of ICT material. District09 joined Electronics Watch, an international organization that strives for better working conditions in the ICT production process. In this way, the City of Ghent contributes to a fairer ICT production. In addition, the pilot organization is taking steps towards heat recovery in data centres, sustainable ICT supplies and more sustainable printing behaviour. It doesn't stop there, because the employees are already brimming with new ideas to make the ICT policy more sustainable!
District09 is the proud winner of the Fair ICT Awards 2021. In the interview below, Ghent Alderman Sofie Bracke, authorized for digitization and also chairman of District09, explains the steps taken. She also reflects on lessons learned and things that could be replicated by other organizations.