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Spotlight on TCO:
Certifications for Performance & the Environment

Project Overview:

TCO Development began certifying IT products for performance and environmental responsibility nearly two decades ago.  The company that started by looking at the health, safety and performance of displays, more recently moved into the AV sector by addressing the environmental impact of projectors and opening 3 new labs in Asia this July.  Of TCO’s presence in Green AV certification, Annika Overödder, the Business Area Manager for Communication Technology, Projectors at TCO, says it is a "natural extension" of TCO’s mission.

Clare Hobby, Regional Manager for North America, adds that the company is "excited [its certifications are] coming to AV [because] people are looking for this kind of solution."

The solution is based on a commitment to certify products that achieve superior performance and environmental responsibility without sacrificing one for the other.  To achieve this, TCO develops certifications with a worldwide network of manufacturing, research, environmental experts by designing test methods, ensuring that results are repeatable in independent labs and confirming that products achieve performance users require.

For projectors, Overödder explains, key elements for certification include lifecycle design, recycling, and standards for hazardous materials that comply with or exceed WEEE and RoHS to "see the [product's] impact on environment minimized."

TCO Image Size determines the maximum image size a projector can produce by measuring picture and light, performance requirements, resolution, blackness, grayscale and other visual elements.

The "environmental gain" is determined by the highest quality image size the projector can produce compared to the amount of energy and hazardous materials it uses.

Overödder links quality performance with a projector's length of life, an important factor in certification: "a product should have high performance... clear, good picture, [so users will] use it longer"

Environmental certification extends to a product's impact on users; certified products are "healthy and safe to use," having met electrical safety requirements and electromagnetic requirements through testing in TCO labs.

Marking an increase in AV manufacturer interest, the new labs, in Korea, Taiwan, and Japan, make it easier for manufacturers like NEC and Samsung who certify with TCO to send products for testing and get feedback to improve performance and environmental impact.

TCO certified AV products are already in use by the US Navy and others.

Coupled with more Green AV education, TCO is poised to make a significant impact on the industry.  Because TCO is a small, independent company, its certification “can go beyond legislation... can be tougher than legislation” to reach greater environmental and performance goals.

See the open source TCO specs and product database to learn more


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