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The app for IT emissions

Justin Sutton-Parker on the app that reveals device emissions, and how it can support sustainability reporting
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End-user computing has a heavy footprint in relation to global warming.

However, generating 1% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from production and use, the potential as a source of abatement is also significant. But to do this organisations need information to form a more sustainable IT product strategy.

Sustainability certification for IT

TCO Development is the organisation behind TCO Certified, the world’s leading sustainability certification for IT products.

For 30 years the company has led the way, ensuring IT products meet responsible manufacturing standards and energy efficiency criteria.

You might have seen the TCO Certified logo on, for example, monitors or computers.

The vision of TCO Certified is that all IT products should have an environmentally and socially sustainable lifecycle.

An app for device emissions

Sustainability reporting is a very important tool for driving sustainability progress.

To help organisations measure and communicate progress toward key sustainability targets such as reduced climate impact, waste reduction and worker protection in the supply chain, TCO Development is collaborating with sustainable IT research and consulting specialists Px3. 

Leveraging product carbon footprint data produced by my research as chief scientist at Px3, TCO Development has created an online application that uses calculated average emissions of different device types.

‘Measurements of product carbon footprints have been a difficult topic to address. The scope 3 carbon footprint, which is the footprint happening outside your own organisation, is the most difficult part, and for a typical notebook this makes up more than 80% of the total footprint.

‘The reason it’s difficult to calculate scope 3 emissions is that the supply chains of most IT products are very complex. Currently, there is no standardised way of doing the product carbon footprint calculations, and the same product will therefore get different results depending on the tool and method used.

‘To avoid this problem we chose to use the average Scope 3 calculations made by Justin Sutton-Parker in our Report Generator’.

CEO of TCO Development

Longer device lifespans

The application reveals GHG emissions generated by production and use for a typical notebook, desktop, tablet and monitor.

Since most of the carbon footprint of IT products generally takes place in the manufacturing and supply chains, the most important action for organisations that want to lower their IT carbon footprint is to find different ways of prolonging the lifespan of the IT products they use.

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