– Step-by-step guide for purchasers

Guide to sustainable IT purchasing with TCO Certified

Do you need help getting started with your sustainable procurement strategy? Follow our guide for practical tips along the way.

Step 1 — prepare your organization

Ask yourself some key questions to assess your current situation
  • Does your organizations have sustainability goals?
  • Is sustainability included in your current procurement policies?
  • Is IT purchasing integrated in the overall sustainability strategy?
  • Have you discussed your sustainability policies with your IT hardware vendors?
Set your goals
  • Integrate IT purchasing as part of a strategy for reaching your sustainability goals. Purchasing more sustainable products can help your organization reduce negative impacts and contribute to larger targets, such as the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • Analyze social and environmental risks throughout the product life cycle to determine which product categories to prioritize in sustainable purchasing. Consider also potential benefits, such as energy and cost savings, and reduction of waste.
  • Develop policies and plans with measurable goals and targets for reduced environmental and social impact of IT products. These can include increased responsibility in the supply chain to reduce human rights violations, and longer product use, product re-use and takeback to drive circularity.
Engage the right people
  • In policy, contracting and follow up phases, involve team members with specialist competence in IT operations, sustainability, finance, and procurement. Agree upon sustainability priorities and how to measure progress.
  • Educate management and team members on sustainability risks connected to IT products and how sustainable procurement can help you reduce those risks. Communicate your progress regularly to build company-wide engagement.
  • Ensure management level support for both your sustainability goals and purchasing strategy. This is vital for raising the profile of sustainability as a priority and ensuring adequate support as you roll out your plan.

Step 2 — talk to your vendors

Involve suppliers early
  • Make use of pre-competitive dialogs and Requests for Information (RFIs) to discuss your intentions with vendors as early as possible. Ask them which product models carry TCO Certified and which models they will need to certify. This helps ensure availability of certified products.
  • Explain to your vendors that social and environmental sustainability is a priority aspect of your purchasing program and that IT products are a prioritized category for sustainable purchasing or leasing.
Communicate your sustainable purchasing goals and priorities