PAHO signals intent to join CFIT for sustainable ICT practices at COP28

Amid the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) declared its active engagement in promoting sustainable and fair ICT practices. In a bilateral meeting with Ms. van Rijn, Director-General of Environment and International Affairs at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management in the Netherlands, PAHO expressed its intention to becoming a procuring participant in the Circular and Fair ICT Pact (CFIT).

Ms. Eijkemans,  Director of the Department of Social and Environmental Determinants for Health Equity at PAHO, underscored the profound impact of the triple planetary crisis on global health and the environment. Emphasizing the urgency to address climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, PAHO, aligned with its commitment to supporting countries in the Americas, seeks to fortify infrastructure and digitize health systems. This strategic move aims to mitigate the amplified effects of climate change on health and emergencies.

The decision to join CFIT seamlessly aligns with PAHO's overarching goal to promote circularity, fairness, and reduced environmental impact in its procurement processes. PAHO procures thousands of laptops, computers, tablets, phones (ICT equipment), as part of technical cooperation projects in our countries, related to digital health systems, and for our operations in HQ and in our 27 country offices. PAHO's expressed intent to participate in CFIT adds weight to the collective voice advocating for sustainable practices in the ICT sector, significantly contributing to the broader objectives of the Pact.

CFIT, initiated and co-led by the Netherlands, aspires to unite nations, organizations, and stakeholders dedicated to sustainable ICT practices. PAHO's intent to join CFIT reflects a commitment to collaborative efforts in addressing the environmental impact of ICT supply chains. As the international community gathers at COP28 in Dubai, the significance of such commitments becomes evident on the global stage.

Marieke Weerdesteijn, Programme manager of CFIT, is excited with the increasing interest in the Circular and Fair ICT Pact and invites all interested parties to reach out to the secretariat. “Earlier this week Slovenia signed the Pact, and today PAHO expresses its interest to join as well. Collaborating world-wide and with diverse organizations that all procure ICT, allows all participants learn from different practices and approaches, and together take steps towards continuous improvement”.