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Progress report – year one IT industry sustainability
impacts of new generation TCO Certified





About TCO Development

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About TCO Development 2017-03-27T09:45:26+00:00

About TCO Development

TCO Development is the organization behind TCO Certified, the international sustainability certification for IT products. For over 20 years we have provided solutions for sustainability challenges connected to IT products and IT environments.

Through ongoing dialog with our international group of stakeholders, we are able to work together with industry, buyers, NGOs and other experts to drive sustainable development of IT.

We work internationally, bridging the needs of professional buyers and industry. We help provide solutions where buyers can choose sustainably designed products, and at the same time offer a platform for industry to meet those product needs and advance their own environmental and social responsibility.

TCO Development is owned by TCO, a non-profit organization based in Stockholm, Sweden, with regional presence in Asia and North America.

TCO Development is a member of the Global Ecolabelling Network.

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Sustainable IT – more than Green IT

Green IT is the use of IT products and systems to help reduce the negative environmental effects of organizations and the technology they use.

Sustainable IT is the natural next step, by adding social responsibility to the environmental focus of a Green IT strategy. This means ensuring that IT products and systems are designed for the environment and usability, while also making sure they are manufactured in factories that commit to socially responsible conditions for their workers.

TCO Certified includes life cycle criteria for environmental and social responsibility in all product certifications.

Read more about Sustainable IT

Our history

Widespread use of computers in the workplace began during the 1980s. Poor ergonomic design, high levels of electro-magnetic emissions and energy consumption led to concern among users.At that time TCO began working with users and industry to develop mutually beneficial solutions .In 1992, TCO Development was founded and began working with the SEMKO laboratory in Sweden to develop a method for measuring electro-magnetic emissions from a computer display. The result was a certification that benefitted buyers, users and the IT industry alike – the TCO labeling program, the world’s first quality and environmental label for IT products.

Display manufacturers were able to employ new technologies to reduce emissions and energy consumption. Buyers were able to use TCO certification to identify which displays featured reduced emissions and users could feel confident using an IT product that was verified for these quality and health and safety factors.

Today there are new challenges in the IT space that demand our attention. Poor working conditions in electronics manufacturing and low recycling rates are two examples. The label has evolved into a sustainability certification- TCO Certified- and includes criteria aimed at reducing the negative social and environmental effects of IT products during their manufacture, use and end of life handling. Our work has also expanded to include broader aspects of sustainable IT, such as how to use technology as an effective way to increase overall sustainability in the organization and how to make the organization’s IT infrastructure more sustainable.

TCO Development provides solutions to these sustainability challenges and advances sustainable development in IT.

20 Years of Advancing Sustainable IT

  • 1992 – The first TCO certification is introduced, focusing on low emissions and reduced energy consumption in displays.
  • 1995 – Criteria to reduce hazardous material content – chemicals, flame retardants and heavy metals.
  • 1999 – ISO 14001 required, tighter criteria for display image quality and visual ergonomics.
  • 2000 -2009 – Stricter environmental criteria in line with technology developments buyer demands.
  • 2009 – Requirements for socially responsible manufacturing introduced.
  • 2012 – Launch of new generation TCO Certified – the sustainability certification for IT products.