Sustainability aspects are becoming more and more important and more companies are implementing strategies for their operations and products. The IT-industry has many challenges when it comes to sustainable development and its product design, production, use and end-of-life of their products.
The fact that Apple is leaving the EPEAT register because their products can’t be recycled in a way that is environmentally acceptable is one example. Nevertheless the IT-industry needs to take measures. To produce one computer uses about 1.500 kg of water, human rights are violated in the production, the level and handling of the world’s e-waste can’t be neglected. It is a good sign that Apple is sincere and withdraws the products from the EPEAT registration when they can’t meet the standards.
Third party certification a security for the purchaser
For a purchaser or consumer when choosing between products one must weigh each product in terms of its different qualities against the price tag. A sustainability certification like TCO Certified can be seen as one of those qualities, just like design, battery life or brightness, for example. It increases the value of a product by providing a certain level of security to the purchaser, that the brand normally could not provide in other ways (for example, via test reports published on their website). EPEAT can be seen as another way to show the quality of the product.
There are today 59 brands using TCO Certified for their IT products, Apple is not one of them. For Apple to continue to be able to sell their products in the future without TCO Certified or EPEAT, they must provide other qualities to compensate for this loss of security. One reason for the existence of regulations and sustainability certifications is the inability to trust in corporations. As we have seen, when opposing interests collide, there is a tendency to lower standards if there is a chance it will not be perceived. If you trust the technical specifications and the exclusively positive reviews in the news and published test reports, then you might be tempted to do without a certification. However, if you disregard the lack of certific