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TCO puts sustainability data back in the hands of IT purchasers

20 May 2020

TCO Development has developed a sustainability tool to help measure IT products’ sustainability impact. 

The company, which developed the TCO Certified sustainability certification for IT products, aims to help product purchasers to make more informed choices. As a result, TCO Certified has extended its online product finder to included measurable sustainable performance data for certified products.

Many organisations are placing sustainability as highly important in their purchasing decisions. Sustainability is often strategic, which is leading to purchasers to call for more and better sustainability data for the products they buy.

When a product is certified according to the criteria and independent verification system in TCO Certified, robust and reliable product specific data is generated. Through the product finder, data then becomes available to purchasing organisations and can be used in their decision making, communication and sustainability reporting.

“Measuring the impact of the products you buy and use is critical for any sustainable procurement program. The new functions in our Product Finder offer purchasing organisations a way to do just that,” explains TCO Development director of purchaser engagement, Clare Hobby.

The product finder’s new features allow purchasers to access detailed information on IT products certified according to TCO Certified, such as the percentage of post-consumer recycled plastic content, product weight, energy consumption and battery cycles. 

The product finder also makes it possible to calculate CO2 emissions and energy costs in the use phase. Users can then export the data to use in their own measurement, reporting and communication efforts.

“Proof and measurement are key for driving sustainability. Placing trust in unverified product claims can put purchasing organizations at risk of greenwash. In addition to the verification in TCO Certified, the new Product Finder features offer measurable data to purchasers wishing to talk about the sustainability impact of the IT products they use,” says Hobby.

More than 3500 products are currently TCO Certified.

“By asking for TCO Certified when procuring IT products, you give an incentive for the IT industry to implement more sustainable practices,” Hobby says. 

In March, TCO launched a new addition to TCO Certified Edge to help curb the practice of dumbing thousands of tonnes of toxic waste in the world’s most vulnerable regions.

“Through TCO Certified Edge, E-waste Compensated, we want to give purchasers and the IT industry a powerful tool for combatting e-waste,” explains TCO Development spokesperson Andreas Rehn.

When purchasers an IT product certified according to the TCO Certified Edge criterion, E-waste Compensated, an equivalent amount of e-waste is collected in a country lacking in safe recycling systems.