Computing equipment has improved the lives of people everywhere. As global use expands, society everywhere faces new challenges from the impacts of the entire life-cycle of computing equipment. According to United Nations Environment Programme, some 20 to 50 million metric tonnes of e-waste are generated worldwide every year, comprising more than 5% of all municipal solid waste.
In 2006, the eighth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal adopted the Nairobi Declaration on the Environmentally Sound Management of Electrical and Electronic Waste which called for more structured and enhanced efforts towards achieving global solutions for management of e-waste problems and among others encouraged Parties to develop further partnerships targeting e-waste.
In the following years, the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) was developed as a multi-stakeholder public-private partnership that provides a forum for representatives of personal computer manufacturers, recyclers, international organizations, associations, academia, environmental groups and governments to tackle environmentally sound refurbishment, repair, material recovery, recycling and disposal of used and end-of-life computing equipment.
PACE was launched in 2008 by the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention, with decision IX/9 , which agreed with the mission, scope, working principles and activities of PACE. A Working Group was established as the operating mechanism for the Partnership that operates under the guidance of the Basel Convention Open-ended Working Group.