Technology and consumer electronics products have transformed life in just two generations but they’ve come with heavy environmental and social consequences, including ecosystems disrupted by mining and unrecycled e-waste. We talk with Andreas Nobell, development manager at TCO Development, which publishes an independent nonprofit environmental and social responsibility certification for technology products, the TCO Certified label. The TCO Certified label is available for 12 types of products, including computers, mobile devices, monitors, and data center equipment. TCO Development is a type of consumers’ union that emerged in the technology purchasing community and works to hold the tech industry accountable for its products’ impact on people and the planet.
Andreas discusses how the electronics industry is making progress by reducing the energy to make and use a phone or PC, and by discarding far less waste from the manufacturing process, reducing the use of toxins, and investing to support e-waste recycling. But, he says, there is still a long way to go. You can learn more about the TCO Certified program in Earth911’s recent article, Certification for Greener IT Products, and try out a search for low-impact, socially responsible electronics at tcocertified.com.