In our current, linear way of producing and consuming products, we take virgin natural resources and make products from them which we then discard once we’re done using them — often after a relatively short time. Linearity leads to the loss of valuable and scarce natural resources, pollution and extensive energy use that contributes to the climate crisis. TCO Certified helps you select products that are designed and made with a circular approach, so that products and materials are kept in their intended use longer.

Today, the common approach to the IT product life cycle is linear. Virgin materials are extracted to make new products which are used and then discarded, often after a relatively short time. In most cases, materials are not recycled, and turn to waste. This linear “take, make, use, dispose” model is not sustainable and largely inefficient from a resource perspective. It depletes the earth’s natural resources, and creates enormous amounts of hazardous e-waste.

Our approach: driving the development of products that can live longer

Criteria in TCO Certified — what and why?

This series of articles cover the eight criteria areas in TCO Certified. We go through the most critical sustainability challenges connected to IT products and how you can reduce the risks by including TCO Certified in procurement. All criteria are mandatory, and compliance with criteria is always independently verified.

The best way to begin taking a more circular approach to the production and consumption of IT products, is extending their usable life. For the IT industry, this means designing products that are durable, built to last, upgradeable and repairable, making them more attractive for reuse or secondary markets. Once a product has reached the end of its usable life, the materials should be possible to recycle and use again in new products.