After having spent more than 30,000 hours on criteria development, the next generation of TCO Certified will be launched in December. In this blog I’ll take you through some of the news in the new generation, and explain why it is so resource demanding to develop criteria and verification methods.

Blog by:
Viktor Wennström

Quality Manager

I work as a Quality Manager at TCO Development, which means that I review the independent verification system of TCO Certified to ensure that test results are accurate and comparable. I’m also part of the criteria development team, with special focus on environmentally responsible manufacturing, user health and safety and product performance.

On December 1, we will launch TCO Certified, generation 9 after having spent more than 30,000 hours on analysis, development and design of the new criteria and verification methods. From my perspective, two of the highlights in this new generation are linked to socially responsible manufacturing. Firstly, we expand worker protections further up the supply chain, beyond final assembly factories to where the components are made. Secondly, in order to protect factory workers from hazardous substances, we also expand our system for safer chemicals to include process chemicals. (You can read more about how TCO Certified can help you take control over the unruly chemical situation in a recent blog post by my colleague Stephen Fuller.)

I’m also excited to see what we will achieve with our new sustainability performance indicators. We introduced this system in the last generation of TCO Certified, and started by gathering data on post-consumer recycled plastic content, product weight, energy consumption and battery cycles. Now, we add more than 40 new, independently verified indicators, to encourage the IT industry to go beyond the already comprehensive criteria in TCO Certified, and help purchasers make more informed decisions when purchasing their products.

So, the launch day is getting closer and to me it feels like the end of (a fun and exciting) marathon. To keep pushing the IT industry in the right direction, a new generation of TCO Certified is released every three years. The development work never stops. Me and my colleagues in the development team continually monitor sustainability challenges. About two years before we release a new generation, we thoroughly analyze and compare all these challenges to see where and how we can make the biggest impact.

We then discuss challenges and possible solutions with a broad scope of stakeholders including representatives from the academic world, purchasers and other representatives from purchasing organizations, and the IT industry. At this stage, we have decided on a number of focus areas, and need to find the right criteria level where we challenge