TCO Certified Sets the Standard for More Environmentally Friendly Chemicals in Electronics
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TCO Certified Sets the Standard for More Environmentally Friendly Chemicals in Electronics

By CIOReview | Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Through its initial list of cleaner alternatives, TCO Certified has changed the usage of chemicals in certified IT goods.

FREMONT, CA: TCO Certified has altered the use of chemicals in certified information technology goods by creating the industry's first list of safer alternatives. In 2021, the TCO Certified Accepted Substance List would be expanded to cover process chemicals used in manufacturing information technology goods, safeguarding supply chain employees.

Today, 352,000 chemicals and chemical combinations are in use, with tens of thousands employed in information technology goods.

“During our 30 years in sustainable IT, we have seen that banning what’s bad is not enough. It easily turns into a game of cat-and-mouse, where what’s restricted is replaced by something else, which can be just as harmful, or worse. Legislation lags behind, so you need to be one step ahead. And this is where we come in,” says Sören Enholm, CEO of TCO Development, the organization behind TCO Certified, the global leading sustainability certification for IT products.

Hazardous compounds used in IT products and their manufacture pose various threats to human health and the environment. According to a global United Nations report published in August 2018, one worker dies every 15 seconds due to exposure to hazardous substances.

“With our TCO Certified Accepted Substance List, we keep dangerous chemicals out of the environment, and by now adding process chemicals to the list, we offer a solution to protect workers making certified products,” Sören Enholm continues.

Assessing chemicals before use is the only safe course of action. Until a chemical is demonstrated to be low risk, it is included on the TCO Certified Accepted Substance List. The TCO Certified Accepted Substance List is dynamic, and compounds may be evaluated in light of new scientific discoveries.

“TCO Certified Accepted Substance List is our contribution to both industry and society at large, as the list is public and available to everyone, regardless of industry or product area,” Sören Enholm concludes.