Electronics Production | January 11, 2010

Sony Ericsson, Nokia & Apple top Greenpeace Guide

Apple, Sony Ericsson and Nokia top Greenpeace' Guide to Green Electronics. Samsung, Dell, Lenovo and LG Electronics (LGE) however, pick up penalty points for failing to follow through on a promised phase-out of toxics in their products, the environmental group states.
Most of the companies in the ranking guide had pledged to remove toxic PVC (vinyl) plastic and BFRs from their product range by the end of 2009. But, for now, it's a no show for those companies, who have delayed their phase-out to 2011 or beyond.

Consumers want green, not greenwash
Electronics companies have been moving their "environmental information" links higher and higher on product information webpages in the four years since Greenpeace issued their first Guide to Green Electronics. Some of it is only greenwash though, and informed consumers can tell the difference.

"Last year Apple cleared the final hurdle in eliminating toxic PVC (vinyl) plastic, making it the first company to completely eliminate hazardous BFRs and PVC in its computer systems. Pressure from thousands of Apple lovers and advocates turned the company green in the time it took to go from iMac G5 (2006) to iMac Aluminum (2009)", the group states.

Ban the toxic stuff for good
Several companies see their scores reduced in this newest edition of the Guide with the bar being raised on hazardous substances. Having endorsed the precautionary principle, companies now need to actively support bans on PVC, BFRs and chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) during the revision of the European Union's Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electronics Directive.

Nokia leads the ranking, with a score of 7.3 out of 10. Sony Ericsson follows closely, and is the only company to score full marks on all the toxic chemicals criteria. In third place is Toshiba, but it risks losing points if it fails to meet its commitment to market new models of all its consumer electronics products that are free of PVC and BFRs by 1 April 2010. Philips comes in fourth place, while Apple rises from ninth place to fifth.

Nintendo continues to languish at the bottom of the ranking, Greenpeace continues in their statement. Sony is rewarded for its reported 17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over the period 2000-2008, with renewable energy now accounting for 8% of the total energy purchased globally each year by the company, up from 2.5% a year ago. It also gains for the reported use of 17,000 tons of recycled plastics annually in various products, representing 10% of all plastics used in the 2008 financial year. Almost 90% of this recycled plastic was post-consumer.

Samsung drops dramatically from second place to a tied seventh place for failing to eliminate BFRs in all its products by January 2010. With only its latest models of mobile phones free of toxic substances, it has set January 2011 as the deadline for eliminating them from new models of its notebooks and still has no definitive timeline for removing them from its TVs and household appliances.

Source: Greenpeace


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