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 requirements 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 requirements 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 – production 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 additional TCO Certified Edge criterion.
In part 1 of the four-part series Behind TCO Certified we will look at the criteria in TCO Certified - what they are, how we develop the criteria, and why we choose the focus area that are included. TCO Certified criteria are designed as a tool for IT users, buyers and purchasers to help solve sustainability challenges connected to our manufacturing, use and end of life handling of electronics.
European IT buyers now have more choices in sustainably designed and made IT products. We’re pleased to welcome two European brands – MLS and VECOM – to TCO Certified. During October both brands certified their first product models in the notebook computer and display categories.
15 Swedish banks and insurance companies have joined together to call for more sustainability options in the IT products they choose. The Banking and Insurance Network for Sustainable IT Purchasing plans to use their collective voice to communicate the growing demand for sustainably designed and made computer products to the IT industry.
Is your organization’s sustainable IT strategy helping you achieve the outcomes you want? Maybe you’ve just started working with sustainable IT or don't have any strategy at all! Either way, a structured plan with measurable goals is essential in helping you reach your sustainability targets with the help of IT.
TCO Certified criteria are typically reviewed and updated every two years. As criteria are updated, we also phase out older versions of TCO Certified. We have several criteria documents that will expire this year.
Electronics and IT products are largely manufactured under tough working conditions in price-pressed supply chains. These pressurized conditions have led to excessive overtime, unsafe working environments and other negative outcomes for workers. As some brands show progress toward more responsible practices, it is vital that organizations buying IT products use tools such as the new EU Public Purchasing Directive to continue the drive toward more sustainable manufacturing of electronics.