- Asia / Pacific
- Europe and Central Asia
- Latin America / Caribbean
- Middle East
- North America
Sectors of activity
Consumer Goods, Public Procurement
Type of initiative
Capacity Building & Implementation, Education & Awareness Raising, Research, Analysis, Assessment
Type of lead actor
Established in 2016 by Bioregional and the leadership of the Beyond 2015 network at the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), Transform Together is a multi-stakeholder partnership created to support the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a focus on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12, Responsible Consumption and Production. Transform Together does this by identifying, sharing and advocating - through existing networks and policy processes – the identified scaleable sustainable consumption and production (SCP) practices.
Transform Together selected consumer goods as its first priority and decided to focus on smartphones, one of the most widely used consumer goods, and established a Working Group on sustainable smartphones and ICT in 2016. The group consists of expert representatives from governments, business, research organisations as well as civil society organisations. Bioregional acts as the convener and the secretariat of the Transform Together partnership and the Working Group.
The group has worked during 2016-18 to draw out replicable and scalable solutions for sustainable smartphones; this is summarised in a report “Creating sustainable smartphones: Scaling up best practice to achieve SDG 12” published in May 2018. The report considers the whole product life-cycle from design, raw materials, procurement and use, product life extension and end of life. Scalable solutions identified include; government policies and regulations, certification, voluntary due diligence guidelines, procurement, consumer information and circular economy solutions including e-waste collection, recycling and repair.
This work was subsequently considered and further developed in a workshop of the group in Brussels on 19 June 2018. Seven of the solutions identified were also presented by the group members at a side-event at the UN High Level Political Forum for the Sustainable Development on 9 July 2018.
As the result of these activities, Transform Together has now extended the scope of the Working Group to cover ICT products more broadly and created a vision for a global ecosystem change for sustainable smartphones and ICT by 2030. The strategy to achieve the vision has a strong focus on leveraging the power of volume buyers and procurers of ICT products, who have the opportunity to create a powerful market pull for more sustainable products and encourage sustainable practices in the global ICT supply chains. Transform Together has now shaped up developed this approach and in October 2018 introduced the approach to the EcoProcura 2018 conference on sustainable public procurement gaining significant interest to the initiative.
Impact and Results
- Currently over 50 experts in the Working Group network mailing list of which around 25 are actively involved in the Working Group activities.
- Several National Governments, such as the Finnish government, the Dutch government and the German government actively supporting the initiative.
- Replicable and scalable solutions for sustainable smartphones collated in the report “Creating sustainable smartphones: Scaling up best practice to achieve SDG 12” published in May 2018 (link available below).
- Identified solutions on sustainable smartphones presented at a side-event at the UN High Level Political Forum for the Sustainable Development on 9 July 2018 reaching 60+ people.
- The procurement-led approach presented at the EcoProcura 2018 conference, reaching 70+people and resulting in growth of the network.
Next steps and how to get involved
The planned activities of the Working Group in 2018-19 include developing a roadmap to achieve the 2030 vision, further developing the inventory of solutions for sustainable ICT and engaging closely with volume ICT purchasers to develop a procurement approach to create market demand for sustainable ICT products.
If you are interested in getting involved, please email to:
Johanna Tilkanen, Coordinator, Transform Together