Fair and circular ICT

What is Ghent University doing to influence ICT companies to make the entire chain of ICT products more sustainable? What can you do at your workplace? And how can you get started yourself?


Policy fair and circular ICT

Ghent University wants to influence ICT companies to make their production chain sustainable in a structural way. In addition, UGent wants to extend the lifespan and collect more IT material for reuse and recycling.


Server infrastructure

Ghent University has a central server infrastructure on campus Sterre (S10) and campus Ardoyen (iGent) for HPC, central storage and virtual co-location. Decentralised server rooms are not allowed (if not, the costs will be charged).

  • Use the virtual servers: much more efficient!
  • Do not use servers older than 10 years in the central data centres.
  • Supercomputer (High Performance Computer): this gives a lot of possibilities to scientists, but is also an enormous energy guzzler. So be aware of this.

ICT afval

Purchase of IT-material and e-waste

Choose a device with a TCO-label,, the best available sustainability label for IT devices. But also think carefully about a possible second life for your appliance or make sure it is recycled well.

  • Purchase a Dell-computer with TCO-label within the contract of Ghent University.
  • Between 60 and 85% of CO2 emissions from ICT devices come from the production phase. So extend the life of your device!
  • PCs, laptops, screens and cables from Ghent University that are still usable: do not leave them in your cupboard for too long, but contact dictshop@UGent.be. They can give it a second life. They donate appliances that are still usable to VLIR-UOS projects in Cuba and Ethiopia (and at the same time provide training and proper disposal).
  • Broken PCs, laptops, screens, cables from Ghent University: collect at a central point (recycling point) on your campus. In case of a considerable quantity, contact milieu@ugent.be for transport to environmental park Sterre or for collection by Recupel for recycling.Discarded, still usable PCs, laptops, screens, cables from UGent: Don't leave these in your cupboard for too long, but contact dictshop@UGent.be. They can give it a second life.
  • Discarded and/or defective small ICT material (mobile phones, earphones, USB sticks, etc.): collect this in a box and have it picked up by Recyca together with the toner boxes, or send it by mail to the Environment Department, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, Ghent.


Do you want more?

ICT technologies are evolving rapidly, constantly offering new opportunities. But behind this innovative technology are supply chains and production processes that are extremely problematic, both for people and for the environment. See here how you can do more.

Useful links


More information:  

Working group Fair and circular ICT: Erik Paredis