Congratulations! You have just purchased a TCO'99 approved and
labeled product! Your choice has provided you with a product devel-
oped for professional use. Your purchase has also contributed to
reducing the burden on the environment and also to the further
development of environmentally adapted electronics products.
Why do we have environmentally labelled computers?
In many countries, environmental labelling has become an established method for encourag-
ing the adaptation of goods and services to the environment. The main problem, as far as
computers and other electronics equipment are concerned, is that environmentally harmful
substances are used both in the products and during the manufacturing. Since it has not been
possible for the majority of electronics equipment to be recycled in a satisfactory way, most
of these potentially damaging substances sooner or later enter Nature.
There are also other characteristics of a computer, such as energy consumption levels, that are
important from the viewpoints of both the work (Internal) and natural (external) environments.
Since all methods of conventional electricity generation have a negative effect on the
environment (acidic and climate-influencing emissions, radioactive waste, etc.), it is vital to
conserve energy. Electronics equipment in offices consume an enormous amount of energy
since they are often left running continuously.
What does labelling involve?
This product meets the requirements for the TCO'99 scheme which provides for international and
environmental labelling of personal computers. The labelling scheme was developed as a joint
effort by the TCO (The Swedish Confederation of Professional Employees), Svenska
Naturskyddsforeningen (The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation) and Statens Energimyndighet
(The Swedish National Energy Administration).
The requirements cover a wide range of issues: environment, ergonomics, usability, emission of
electrical and magnetic fields, energy consumption and electrical and fire safety.
The environmental demands concern restrictions on the presence and use of heavy metals,
brominated and chlorinated flame retardants, CFCs (freons) and chlorinated solvents, among other
things. The product must be prepared for recycling and the manufacturer is obliged to have an
environmental plan which must be adhered to in each country where the company implements its
operational policy. The energy requirements include a demand that the computer and/or display,
after a certain period of inactivity, shall reduce its power consumption to a lower level in one or
more stages. The length of time to reactivate the computer shall be reasonable for the user.
Labelled products must meet strict environmental demands, for example, in respect of the reduction
of electric and magnetic fields, physical and visual ergonomics and good usability.
Flame retardants are present in printed circuit boards, cables, wires, casings and housings. In turn,
they delay the spread of fire. Up to thirty percent of the plastic in a computer casing can consist of
flame retardant substances. Most flame retardants contain bromine or chloride and these are
related to another group of environmental toxins, PCBs, which are suspected to give rise to severe
health effects, including reproductive damage in fisheating birds and mammals, due to the bio-
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