Sustainability certification for IT products
TCO Certified is an international third party sustainability certification for IT products. By choosing TCO Certified computers, displays and other devices, businesses and organizations around the world are able to help meet environmental and social challenges associated with electronics.
TCO Certified meets the requirements for the type 1 Ecolabel in accordance with ISO 14024. This means that criteria development is based on scientific principles and involves multiple stakeholders and experts in an open development process. Certified product models must meet all criteria in TCO Certified and are tested and verified for compliance by independent, accredited third parties. This applies to environmental and product performance criteria as well as socially responsible manufacturing. Manufacturers wanting to certify their products must meet all criteria relevant to the product and its manufacture.
Our follow up quality assurance program makes it easier for your organization to make sure that the products you buy meet your sustainability requirements.
TCO Certified is a product certification and does not apply to a brand as a whole. Brands and manufacturers select products or product families to certify, but each product model must be tested and verified according to criteria in TCO Certified. Certification of a particular product does not imply that all products under the same brand name are certified.
Sustainability in all phases of the product life cycle
Electronics are associated with many different sustainability risks throughout the life cycle, including manufacturing, use and end of life phases. Some of these risks include working conditions in electronics manufacturing, negative environmental effects from the extraction of raw materials and manufacturing processes, energy consumption, hazardous content and chemicals, usability and low recycling rates, which feeds a growing global e-waste problem.
TCO Certified contains criteria aimed at addressing many of these challenges in each life cycle phase. This unique, broad scope makes TCO Certified the most comprehensive third party certification for IT products.
Criteria – Manufacturing phase
Socially responsible manufacturing, environmental management system.
Criteria – use phase
Climate, ergonomics, health and safety, extended product life and emissions.
Criteria – end of life phase
Reduction of hazardous content and chemicals, design for recycling
Third party tested and verified
In addition, TCO Development carries out a quality assurance program following certification, including spot checks of products and manufacturing facilities. We also conduct regular verification rounds at each of our accredited test and verification partner sites.Read more about the criteria in TCO Certified
Using TCO Certified to identify sustainably designed and made IT products
TCO Certiifed makes it easier for organizations all over the world to make sustainable IT product choices.Learn more about how to include TCO Certified as part of your sustainable IT strategy.
Benefits of TCO Certified
- The world’s most comprehensive third party certification of IT products
- Unique mix of environmental and social criteria throughout product life cycle
- Part of a proactive sustainable IT and purchasing program
- Provides a structure for making IT part of the organization’s environmental and social responsibility strategy.
What purchasers say
One way to put our policy for environmental and social responsibility into action is to use a certification like TCO Certified. For us it’s important to help influence the development of smartphones, notebook computers and other IT products in a sustainable direction. Reducing negative environmental impact and contributing to better working conditions in IT manufacturing is in line with our policies.
We’ve worked hard to integrate sustainability throughout our purchasing organization. Making sure our vendors also respect human rights and the environment is vital for both our business and society at large. In the case of this particular procurement, our sustainability specifications led directly to the certification of a series of notebook computers, which is also useful for other buyers looking to select certified products.
The Swedish Church has decided to use TCO Certified as part of our purchase of notebook computers. We have specified that the notebooks we buy must be certified according to the latest version of TCO Certified Notebooks. For our organization, it is important that we choose IT products that take environmental factors into account and that are manufactured under socially responsible conditions.
TCO Certified Edge
For best in class products, TCO Certified Edge offers additional recognition for leading edge performance in a specific area, such as ergonomics or use of recycled materials. TCO Certified Edge is a supplemental certification intended for products that are at the forefront of technology and sustainable design.
Every TCO Certified Edge product model meets the requirements of both TCO Certified for its product category and at least one additional TCO Certified Edge criterion.
Swedbank’s values-based, risk assessment approach to IT purchasing led to choice of TCO Certified as sustainability criteria in their purchase of 10 000 notebook computers.
Chemsec, The International Chemical Secretariat, has withdrawn from the EU-Commission working group charged with updating the banned substances list in RoHS. It’s unfortunate that the working group has lost Chemsec as a member, as they have been instrumental in presenting concrete solutions to phasing out well-known hazardous substances contained in electronic
TCO Development, in agreement with brand Hyundai IBT, has cancelled a certificate for computer displays manufactured under the Hyundai brand.
In part 2 of the four-part series Behind TCO Certified we will look at the testing and verification program that is part of the certification process. All TCO Certified products models are third party tested to meet all sustainability criteria in TCO Certified. Final assembly factories are also audited by a third party for compliance with criteria for socially responsible manufacturing.
2014 was in many ways a breakthrough year for sustainable IT. Buyers became even more committed to making sustainable IT product choices and we have seen an improved, more purposeful dialog between IT purchasers and industry. More contracts are also reflecting how an organization’s choice of computers and other electronics can contribute to sustainable development, both before, during and after the purchase is made.
Criteria in TCO Certified are routinely updated every three years, in line with new technologies and sustainability challenges. In 2015 we are planning to launch the next generation of TCO Certified. Preliminary work has begun to assess potential criteria and structural updates.