TCO Certified Part of German Manufacturing Criteria

TCO Development has signed an agreement with the Office for Procurement of the German Ministry of the Interior (BeschA), to make TCO Certified part of a new code of conduct for IT manufacturing. The new code of conduct has been agreed by BeschA and trade association Bitkom.

The new wording of the BeschA declaration of conduct is geared at public procurers at the federal, state and local level. It can be used when bidding for IT hardware and IT services alike. Procurers are also offered the opportunity to inspect and audit the conditions of work on site, for the first time.

“Germany is the largest economy in the EU and is a leading force for environmental change. The decision to include social standards in IT manufacturing is a significant next step that will help further advance progress toward sustainability targets,” said Niclas Rydell, Director of Certification, TCO Development.

The BMI established its Department for Sustainable Procurement (Kompetenzstelle für nachhaltige Beschaffung) in 2011 as part of BeschA. Its goals range from information campaigns for better practices, to providing training for federal employees, and developing new concepts for interaction with other state agencies and NGOs alike.

“The Procurement Office is very much aware of its responsibility to not only take ecological and economic criteria into consideration, but – wherever possible – social aspects as well” said Dr. Birgit Settekorn, director of BeschA.

“Annual spot checks of factories are very important for monitoring socially responsible manufacturing as the conditions in the factory may change at any time. When a product is TCO Certified, annual social audits from the factory are included in the certification, which saves the buyer time and money”, Rydell added.

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From its start over concerns about monitor safety, TCO Development moved onto workplace ergonomics, to environmental and ROHS factors and now sustainability and socially responsible manufacturing. The inclusion of an insistence on the ILO core conventions for labour standards means that buyers can be sure that they don’t run into the kind of problems that have seen bad publicity for Apple, Foxconn and others. (BR)