It’s hard to believe, but as recently as the late 1990s, IT purchasers had a fairly straightforward task. Sure, equipment had to meet price, performance, functionality and compatibility requirements. But the ultimate goal was simply for stuff to work, and for users not to complain.
Since then, purchasing computers and other electronics has gotten a good bit more complex. At first, concerns about emissions prompted IT manufacturers to implement health and safety measures. At the dawn of the new millennium, we began to worry about environmental impacts, ushering in the green manufacturing era.
Then, about five years ago, the sustainability movement emerged, putting a sometimes harsh spotlight on the ethical aspects of producing and using electronics. Today, more and more purchasers understand that sustainable products aren’t just supposed to be good for the environment. They’re asking bigger questions, like “Was it manufactured by forced or child labor?” or “How were conditions in the factories?”
Some problems that