First Sustainability Certification for Smartphones Will Focus on Socially Responsible Manufacturing and Environment

Apr 10, 2013, 09:00 ET from TCO Development

STOCKHOLM, April 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

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.

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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.

But this 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. Examples of criteria include manufacturer commitment to international labour 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.

About TCO Development

TCO Development advances sustainable IT is the organisation behind TCO Certified, the third party sustainability certification for IT products. Professional IT purchasers worldwide choose TCO Certified products as part of their sustainable IT strategy. Products achieving TCO Certified meet a broad series of criteria to ensure that manufacturing, use and recycling is carried out with consideration for environmental, social and economic responsibility. TCO Certified is available for displays, notebooks, tablets, desktops, all-in-one PCs, projectors and headsets. TCO Development is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, with regional presence in North America and Asia.

Niclas Rydell, Director, Product Certification
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Press - Anna Pramborg
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SOURCE TCO Development