May 11, 2020 - There’s a dirty little secret in the tech industry: government regulation is minimal, and as a result IT and AV products may contain remarkably harmful substances, have an unsustainably short life span, and be built in factories that neglect human safety and human rights.
Yet there’s a simple, effective solution: for more than 25 years, TCO Certified has helped consumers and manufacturers find a better way by rewarding and publicizing best practices.
Clare Hobby, Director, Purchaser Engagement of TCO Development, says the traditional approach has been to wait for governments to ban the most harmful substances and practices, but it’s a moving target. “It takes years for government to act, and when they do, manufacturers have to find substitutes. Often those are as bad or worse than what they replaced.”
Today, instead of saying ‘don’t use this,’ the TCO Development team looks at the chemicals and other materials actually used in manufacturing, then promotes the safest and best through an accepted substances list.
As important, they work through independent verifiers to travel to factories, observe how manufacturers build their products, and examine each using an exhaustive list of criteria, including user health and safety, worker health and safety, product performance, energy consumption, warranty, lifetime, mineral sourcing, and recovery and recyclability of the product and its packaging. TCO Certified criteria are updated every three years, and they incorporate other standards such as ISO 14024, RoHS, REACH, WEEE, the Ecodesign Directive and EnergyStar.
“We have built a very robust, challenging but realistic system that step by step is pushing the tech industry into producing more environmentally and socially responsible products.”
- Clare Hobby, Director, Purchaser Engagement of TCO Development
TCO Certified is especially helpful to buyers, because it takes away the burden of researching which alternatives are the highest quality and most sustainable. “While we cannot endorse one brand over another,” she says, “our system verifies independent audits of each participating manufacturer’s practices, and we carry out regular follow ups of those audits, to make sure they continue to meet our criteria.”
Casio is a strong supporter of the initiative, as we have always felt that the sustainability of our products, and with it the health and safety of our clients and workforce, should be our number one priority. More than a decade ago, we began work on a revolutionary laser-based light source that would not only save energy but eliminate mercury-based projection lamps. In 2010, we brought it to the market, the first high-brightness, 2000+ lumen projector using a laser-LED hybrid.
TCO Certified is available for 11 product categories. You’ll find displays, projectors, notebooks, tablets, headsets, desktops and all-in-one PCS in their product finder, and soon, smartphones, network equipment, data storage and servers.
There is no cost to access the TCO Certified products list or buyer resources including fact sheets, buying guides, reports, webinars, and expert advice. We encourage you to check out their website (tcocertified.com), get in touch with TCO Development purchaser support team members, then ask for TCO Certified before you buy IT or AV equipment.
You can find our most popular Superior and Advanced series projectors there in the TCO Certified Product Finder