Greenpeace has released the 14th edition of its Guide to Greener Electronics.
Nokia remains in the top slot and Sony Ericsson has moved into second place as the result of Samsung having a penalty point deducted for ‘backtracking on its commitment to eliminate brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in new models of all products by January 2010 and PVC by end of 2010’. Samsung is one of four companies that now have a penalty point deducted for similar reasons, the others being LG Electronics, Dell and Lenovo.
In terms of score change since the last edition, the three biggest changes were:
• Samsung down 1.8 points and seven places in the rankings due to the penalty point and a lack of a methodology for further restrictions of hazardous substances.
• Dell down 0.8 points and two places also due to commitments on hazardous materials and also for not verifying its 2009 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from global operations and not supporting global calls for emissions cuts.
• Fujitsu up 0.8 points and one place mostly for supporting the call for reductions in GHG emissions.
Lenovo, Microsoft and Nintendo now bring up the rear of the table.
On the whole I support Greenpeace’s electronics guide, although how you judge companies is very subjective – Greenpeace focuses very much on the use and disposal of hazardous materials. The chart below gives some indication of how companies are scored.
What I particularly like is that the criteria are updated from time to time, which means it’s something of a moving target for vendors, but then you can say that about the green ICT market as a whole. For this edition, for example, criteria have been amended to reflect the latest Energy Star requirements and actively lobbying for the restricted use of specific chemicals has been added as a scoring factor.
What I don’t like is the way that some of the scores are reported. The penalty points, for example, continue to be the headline factor for some companies every month. It’s disingenuous to say that ‘Dell’s score has plummeted due to the penalty point imposed’ two months in a row – it was only deducted once. It’s more interesting to know what led to the additional fall in score.
In fact what would be useful is for Greenpeace to show the companies’ scores over time, so we can see what progress they’ve made.