The environmental pressure group, Greenpeace has published a 'Guide to Greener Electronics', which ranks companies on their use of harmful chemicals and electronic waste recycling. The organisation says that the guide will be used to create demand for toxic-free electronics which can be safely recycled, by informing consumers about company performance on these two issues. The scorecard ranks the 14 top mobile and PC producers and currently all fail to get a green ranking.
"The scorecard will provide a dynamic tool to green the electronics sector by setting off a race to the top. By taking back their discarded products, companies will have incentives to eliminate harmful substances used in their products, since this is the only way they can ensure safe reuse and recycling of electronic waste," said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner.
Nokia and Dell share the top spot in the ranking. They believe that as producers they should bear individual responsibility for taking back and reusing or recycling their own-brand discarded products. Nokia leads the way on eliminating toxic chemicals, since the end of 2005 all new models of mobiles are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and all new components to be free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from the start of 2007. Dell has also set ambitious targets for eliminating these harmful substances from their products.
Third place goes to HP, followed by Sony Ericsson (4th), Samsung (5th), Sony (6th), LG Electronics (7th), Panasonic (8th), Toshiba (9th), Fujitsu Siemens Computers (10th), Apple (11th), Acer (12th) and Motorola (13th).
Lenovo is in bottom position. It earns points for chemicals management and providing some voluntary product take back programmes, but it needs to do better on all criteria.
"It is disappointing to see Apple ranking so low in the overall guide. They are meant to be world leaders in design and marketing, they should also be world leaders in environmental innovation." said Kruszewska.
Companies have the opportunity to move towards a greener ranking as the guide will be updated every quarter. However penalty points will be deducted from overall scores if Greenpeace finds a company lying, practising double standards or other corporate misconduct. For now, companies are scored solely on information publicly available on their global websites. The scoring is weighted more heavily on the use of toxic substances in production rather than criteria on recycling, because until the use of harmful substances is eliminated in products, it is impossible to secure 'safe', toxic-free recycling.
You can download the report from their website: http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/international/press/reports/greener-electronics-guide.pdf
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