Monday, 25th May 2020

Certification tackles growing sustainability issues of data centres

The environmental impact of data usage is growing fast. Carbon dioxide emissions from data centers are now equal to those of the global air travel. To help tackle the problem, the sustainability certification TCO Certified will be expanded to include network equipment, data storage products and servers.

As more of us use mobile devices, streaming services and cloud-based solutions, the number of energy-guzzling data centers is growing rapidly. If this trend is not reversed, data centers may use as much as 13% of global electricity in 2030, compared to 1% in 2010. As with other IT products, data center products also have an adverse effect on human health throughout the supply chain, from health and safety concerns to human rights violations.


To promote more sustainable practices, TCO Development is now developing new criteria for data center products. These will be added to the most recent generation of the global sustainability certification for IT products, TCO Certified, at the end of 2019.

“By including data center products in TCO Certified, we help drive more sustainable solutions and enable purchasers to make responsible choices,” says Sören Enholm, CEO at TCO Development, the organization behind TCO Certified.

TCO Certified has pushed the sustainable development of IT products for over a quarter of a century. A new generation is launched every three years and the latest release is the most ambitious to date. Criteria drive responsibility and transparency in the supply chain and enable circular solutions.

Organizations increasingly demand IT products and solutions that are more sustainable. The challenge for most purchasers is to verify that sustainability claims made by the IT brands are actually correct. This is where an independent third-party certification can help.

“In December, IT brands can start applying for certification to the new criteria. Purchasing organizations then get access to data center products that are verified to be more environmentally and socially sustainable” concludes Enholm.

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