The headline comment from the latest edition of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics is the widening gap between companies that make good on environmental promises and those that don’t. Greenpeace points out that while some of the top electronics manufacturers are failing to keep their environmental commitments, others are innovating and making significant gains in phasing out toxic chemicals, increasing energy efficiency and making it easier for consumers to recycle old products.
Greenpeace deducts points for promises not kept and there are currently six companies affected; Dell, LG Electronics, Samsung, Toshiba, Microsoft and Lenovo. Most have one point deducted, but Toshiba has two -the first imposed for apparently backtracking on its commitment to bring to market new models of all its consumer electronics products free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by 1 April 2010, the second for not admitting that it would not meet its public commitment until the timeline for that commitment had passed.
The first three places in the overall rankings are the same as for version 15, six months ago, with Nokia (7.5 out of 10) and Sony Ericsson (6.9) well ahead of the field and Philips (5.5) in third place. HP has moved up one place into 4th with a similar score.
Samsung is the biggest riser, though, up from 14th to 5th, with a score of 5.3, thanks to having a penalty point removed, although it still has one in place for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in new models of all products by January 2010 and PVC vinyl plastic by end of 2010.
Lenovo gained three places due to significant progress in Greenpeace’s energy criteria, which include support for GHG limits as well as setting its own emissions reduction targets.
The main fallers are Apple – down four places to 9th. The company seems to be doing well on the product side, but not so well on its public position on some environmental issues, something we’ve commented on in the past. And Motorola is down three places to 6th – it had the same score as last time, but has been overtaken in the rankings by other companies.