Answers to frequently asked questions
- Working conditions in the factories where products are manufactured are sometimes poor and may include problems with working hours, worker safety, forced labor and freedom of association.
- Many of the substances used in IT products and their manufacture are hazardous and cause environmental problems and health risks.
- A poorly designed IT product can cause health, safety and ergonomics problems for the user and may have a shorter use life.
- Nearly 50 million metric tons of e-waste is generated each year and 90 percent is illegally traded or dumped, according to the UN Environment Programme.
Criteria and verification methods are science-based and are developed in an open process with our international network of stakeholders including users, buyers, brands, manufacturers, researchers and subject matter experts.
TCO Certified is classified as a Type 1 Ecolabel and our processes and verification meet the requirements in ISO 14024.
All verification of criteria is handled by renown, independent verification partners, in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025. Each test and verification body is reviewed regularly, both by TCO Development and independent accreditation organizations. We ensure that independent audits of manufacturing facilities are verified and followed up, to make sure that identified non-conformities are corrected.
Our Style Guide offers guidance on how to use the TCO Certified brand correctly, including terminology and general facts.
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All criteria in TCO Certified must be met before the certificate is issued, Products, factories and brand owners are also subject to tests and audits afterwards — the criteria must be met during the certificate’s full validity period.
Specifically, we have measured improvements in socially responsible manufacturing engagement, code of conduct implementation in the factories and engagement in conflict minerals initiatives. Read more about our impact in our latest progress report.
The two key factors in our ability to drive industry improvements are:
- Our system of independent verification, follow-up and consequences for non-compliance.
- Purchaser demand for certified products.
Read more about how TCO Certified can make sustainable procurement easier.
With TCO Certified, all verification of compliance is handled by renown, independent verification partners, both pre and post certification. Criteria are comprehensive and go beyond legislation and industry standards, driving both social and environmental sustainability throughout the product’s life cycle.
Make sure your vendors are clear on your sustainability goals and intention to use TCO Certified in plenty of time before you issue a contract. Once a brand owner applies for TCO Certified, the process is straightforward and usually only takes three to five weeks.
Certifying your products to TCO Certified is a straightforward and cost-effective way of taking the next step in social and environmental responsibility. Our criteria and independent verification help you structure your sustainability work and offer a platform for continuous improvement, both regarding product content and supply chain responsibility.
- Product attributes (such as ergonomics, usability, energy, safety)
- Socially responsible manufacturing
The audit report and the corrective action plan are then verified by our independent verification partners.
- Code of conduct
- Proof of supply chain communications about code of conduct
- List of all final assembly factories manufacturing TCO Certified products
- A third party audit report from a final assembly factory manufacturing certified models
- Corrective action plan for all nonconformities
Our Style Guide includes guidance on how to speak and write about TCO Certified and how and when you can use the TCO Certified logotype. You are always welcome to contact us for more details.