TCO Development IT products sustainability certification expanded to include smartphones

By Editor


Greentech Lead Europe: TCO Development has announced the expansion of its worldwide sustainability certification for IT products to include smartphones.

The new certification will provide smartphone buyers and users with an easier way to choose devices that meet criteria for socially responsible manufacturing, minimal environmental impact and ergonomic design.

With their PC-like power and functionality and a worldwide annual sales growth around 50 percent, smartphones represent the fastest growing of all IT product categories. An estimated one billion smartphones will be sold during 2014, TCO said.

The explosive growth also brings with it new sustainability challenges that must be addressed. Hazardous substances, a rapid replacement rate, e-waste and sub-standard working conditions in manufacturing are among the major problems.

The certification will focus on driving greater social responsibility into the manufacturing of smartphones as well as reducing their impact on the environment and human health.


Some of the criteria to be considered for sustainability include manufacturer commitment to international labor conventions, reduction of hazardous substances such as heavy metals, beryllium, nickel and phthalates as well as energy efficiency and ergonomic design.

“This certification will provide public and private sector organizations with a real assurance that the smartphones they choose can help meet their sustainability goals and bring about a more sustainable IT environment, says Niclas Rydell , director of Product Certification at TCO Development.

Of note is that there will be no criteria for SAR-value. While TCO Development will monitor developments in this area, the recommendation will be to use a headset for phone communication.

The new certification criteria set is available in draft format for public and stakeholder comment during April. An estimated publication date is mid-May, when the certification should be available for brands to certify their smartphones.

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