IT equipment

Concerned products

Non-exhaustive list below:

  • Laptops
  • Printers
  • Screens
  • Smartphones
  • Wired network equipment
  • Servers

Best practices

Choose products that bear a label (for example EPEAT or TCO) and that guarantee high energetic efficiency (for more info: TopTen).

  • Before consulting Catalyse catalogues, check out the second-hand equipment sold by the CRI: (only accessible with an EPFL IP address)
  • Request guarantees for spare parts and their availability in order to increase the product’s lifespan
  • Reduce the product’s energetic consumption using the proper parametrization (activation of the equipment’s standby mode, automated switching off of some equipment when not in use, etc.)
  • Learn about IT impacts by taking part in a Digital Collage Fresk

Environmental impacts

Raw materials

  • Potential loss of biodiversity, as well as loss of habitats and harmful consequences for plants, animals, and people
  • Pollution of waters and soils
  • Consumption of finite resources (conflict materials, illegal mining activity, etc.)
  • Impact on the climate due to the energy-intensive extraction process and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions


  • Greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions due to the use of energy from fossil fuels
  • Release of harmful substances


  • Consumption of resources, particularly due to the short lifespan, overconsumption, as well as too wide an assortment of such products


  • Improper disposal of products represents an enormous impact on the environment. In addition, if waste is not recycled, precious resources can be lost, jeopardizing recovery.
  • Different materials within the same equipment make recycling more difficult
  • Release of harmful substances

Social impacts

Raw material extraction and manufacturing

  • Serious violations of human rights (child labor, modern slavery, rights of indigenous people, etc.)
  • Violations of human rights (freedom of association, freedom of expression, etc.)
  • Health and safety at work


  • Mental health: having appeared in our lives without necessarily being questioned, digital technology has nevertheless revolutionized our behaviors. Some issues must therefore be taken into consideration for healthy digital practice