Below is our recent interview with Sören Enholm, Chief Executive Officer at TCO Development:
Q: What is TCO Development?
A: TCO Development is the organization behind the sustainability certification TCO Certified. We work globally and our vision is a future where all IT products have an environmentally and socially responsible life cycle.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: TCO Certified, generation 9 was launched on December 1 last year with new and updated criteria in both environmental and supply chain social sustainability, leading to safer chemicals, more circular solutions, and improved transparency.
The IT industry’s interest in the new generation has been great. Summing up the first three months after the launch, more products than ever, from a record number of brands, are certified according to the new generation.
Three months after the launch of the previous generation in 2018, 144 products were certified according to the new set of criteria and verification methods. This time around, 393 certified products were on the list, an increase of over 170 percent. The number of brands with certified products has more than doubled — from 6 to 14.
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Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: TCO Certified is the tool of choice for any organization wanting to leverage their influence in the IT product supply chain in a credible way. Criteria are comprehensive and cover both environmental and social responsibility in the supply chain and throughout the IT product life cycle.
Criteria go beyond legislation and industry standards to challenge the IT industry and drive progress. A new generation of new and updated criteria is developed every third year, to drive incremental change and push sustainability where it matters most. Criteria areas include hazardous substances, circularity, socially responsible manufacturing, environmentally responsible manufacturing, and much more.
With certified products, you know what you get. All criteria apply globally and certified products must meet all criteria for its product category. Compliance is always independently verified. This way, you avoid greenwash and avoid having to rely on unverified product claims. Instead, you can address the sustainability of products and their supply chains in a trustworthy way.
The criteria in TCO Certified are science-based and are developed in an open process with our international network of stakeholders that includes users, buyers, brands, manufacturers, NGOs, researchers and subject matter experts. TCO Certified is classified as a Type 1 Ecolabel and our processes and verification meet the requirements in ISO 14024. TCO Development is impartial during the verification process.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: To help IT purchasers make more sustainable and informed product choices, we have extended our online database Product Finder to include measurable sustainability performance data for certified products. This data is free to use and can help organizations improve their sustainability reporting. Available data on certified products includes percentage of post-consumer recycled plastic content, energy consumption, battery cycles, product weight, size, resolution and more. Product Finder also offers a feature that calculates use phase CO2 emissions and energy costs. To improve this service, the development will continue, and more functions will be added.
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Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: Our story began 30 years ago when we introduced TCO ’92, which included an energy saving sleep mode for computer displays. Since then it has evolved into the world-leading sustainability certification it is today. TCO Certified is now available for eleven product categories and is used by purchasing organizations all over the world. More than 3,500 products are currently certified.