How to use TCO Certified in Purchasing

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How to use TCO Certified in Purchasing 2017-10-13T12:22:52+00:00

How to use TCO Certified in Purchasing

Using TCO Certified to make a sustainable product choice

IT devices involve sustainability challenges throughout their life cycle, from energy consumption to chemicals and hazardous substance content. Product lifetime and responsible end of life handling are also important in reducing the negative environmental and impact of technology. Working conditions in electronics manufacturing has also been a widespread concern, particularly in areas of working hours, health and safety and hum rights protections.

By asking for TCO Certified IT products you are making a choice for environmental and social responsibility.

The criteria in TCO Certified cover sustainability aspects in all phases of the product’s life: manufacturing, use and end of life. Including TCO Certified in your purchasing specifications also provides an incentive for the IT industry to ensure their products and manufacturing processes meet sustainability objectives. This includes reduced environmental impact and improving the working conditions in factories manufacturing TCO Certified product models.

Together we can advance a more sustainable development of IT products.

Find out how you can include sustainability factors when choosing electronics

Why choose TCO Certified?

TCO Certified is the world’s most comprehensive sustainability certification for IT products. You can choose TCO Certified products in eight categories: displays, notebooks, tablets, smartphones, desktops, all-in-one PCs, projectors and headsets. Criteria address sustainability issues throughout the product life cycle and certified products along with manufacturing facilities are subject to regular after market spot checks to verify compliance.

  • TCO Certified is an easy and effective way to include product sustainability criteria in your IT program
  • All product models carrying TCO Certified have been tested by independent, accredited third party test facilities. Facilities manufacturing those products have also been subject to third party social audits
  • By asking for TCO Certified products you are influencing industry to take greater responsibility for product sustainability
  • Criteria in TCO Certified cover a broad spectrum of environmental, social and health/safety issues throughout the product life cycle. This makes TCO Certified the most comprehensive sustainability certification for IT products in the world today
  • TCO Certified product models and their manufacturing facilities are subject to additional spot checks to monitor compliance, even after certification
  • Using TCO Certified makes it easier for your organization to select product bids based on lowest life cycle cost

Criteria for each product category are updated approximately every three years. Typically a new generation of TCO Certified will include enhanced, tighter requirements, in line with new technologies and sustainability goals. It’s therefore important to ask for the latest version of TCO Certified in purchasing contracts. To make sure you’re specifications are up to date, please check our website before issuing new tenders or contract specifications.

Read more about TCO Certified

How to choose TCO Certified IT products

Choosing sustainably designed IT-products is important for any organization wanting to reduce their environmental impact and life cycle cost, while also contributing to a more socially responsible society.

A sustainable IT policy should be included in as part of an overall sustainability strategy for the organization, including measurable targets. Using TCO Certified for selecting computers, displays, tablets and other electronics provides a structured approach whereby product and brand compliance is verified by an independent third party using internationally accepted scientific methods.

Practical guide for Sustainable IT procurement

Use before, during and after the procurement process for including environmental and social criteria


Find TCO Certified Products

Search our registry of products certified according to TCO Certified, by product type and brand.


By specifying the latest version of TCO Certified in your IT purchasing contracts you can be confident the products you’re buying meet our strict environmental and social criteria throughout the product life cycle. TCO Certified can be used as proof and follow up verification that the products you purchase meet the requirements you set out in your specifications.

Make sure to reference the criteria set for each relevant product category. These are available on the TCO Development homepage. Citing the latest version of TCO Certified in your contracts is important in making sure your sustainability requirements are current and relevant.

View product categories eligible for TCO Certified

EU Public Purchasing and the new EU Directive

Opportunities and responsibilities in purchasing can differ between public and private sector. Public purchasing in the EU is governed by the new EU Public Purchasing Directive, which was ratified in 2014. The Directive, which member states must implement by 2016, makes a stronger commitment to sustainability by clearly expecting public entities to include environmental and social factors in all purchasing.

The Directive encourages the use of social and environmental labels and certification programs, both in product specifications and as a tool for verifying that purchased products meet the contract sustainability requirements.

One goal of the new Directive is to make it easier for public entities to work toward national and international climate and environmental targets.

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