Frequently asked Questions

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Frequently asked Questions 2017-10-13T12:20:23+00:00

Frequently asked Questions


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 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.

TCO Certified is available for eight product categories: displays, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, desktops, all-in-one PCs, projectors and headsets. TCO certification began in 1992 and criteria are typically updated every three years.

TCO Development is the organization behind TCO Certified. For over 25 years we have provided solutions for sustainability challenges connected to IT products. We develop environmental and social responsiblity criteria, covering the life cycle of IT products. The aim is to develop criteria that approxaimately 30-50 percent of currently available products should be able to meet. We also are responsible for rigorous test methods and a quality assurance program that includes third party verification of products and manufacturing facilities. We carry out regular spot checks to verify compliance as well as continued accuracy of all our accredited independent verification partners.

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 also a member of the Global Ecolabelling Network.

TCO Certified provides industry with a straightforward way of meeting growing buyer demand for sustainably designed and made IT products. As a third party program, TCO Certified provides an independent measure of transparency, structure and continual improvement in social and environmental sustainability.

By certifying their products, manufacturers can also demonstrate an ongoing commitment to continued progress and sustainable development.

Criteria in TCO Certified often exceed legislation and have been shown to influence industry in a positive direction. For example, the program continues to drive the phase-out of hazardous substances in electronics and supports the use of safer substitutes that have been assessed for human health and environmental factors.

With the vast majority of manufacturing located in low-wage countries, cost and time to market pressures have grown. As the supply chain becomes more global and complex, brands are finding it more challenging to have oversight of their many suppliers. TCO Certified provides a structured, transparent and verified approach to managing and improving conditions in the supply chain.

Through many years of working with IT brands and suppliers worldwide, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to assess manufacturing from a sustainability perspective. Our ongoing work and dialog with industry means we are more effectively able to address some of the most pressing challenges while working with industry to bring about improvements.

Criteria in TCO Certified have influenced the performance, design and sustainability of IT products since the early 1990s. From driving continued improvements in visual display performance to the phase out of brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, lead, cadmium and mercury, TCO certification has made continual progress in sustainability and human health factors through the years. TCO Certified has contributed to significant energy savings through the introduction of sleep-mode and raised awareness of the need for better working conditions in electronics manufacturing.

Over 10 000 product models have been certified since 1992. Today there are over 900 certified product models from 30 brands (April 2016)

Criteria in TCO Certified

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 it the most comprehensive third party certification for IT products.

TCO Certified is a 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 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 in the factories.

Our follow up quality assurance program makes it easier for your organization to make sure that the products you buy comply with TCO Certified throughout the life cycle, helping you meet your sustainability goals.