Greenpeace International’s 18th edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics has been released and, as a result of Indian companies now being included in the international rankings, Wipro comes out on top.
The rankings, which come out annually, assesses 16 electronics companies based on their commitment and progress in three environmental criteria: Energy and Climate, Greener Products and Sustainable Operations.
In this edition, Greenpeace’s analysis concludes that while the companies assessed have made progress at removing toxic chemicals from the mobile phones, computers and tablets they produce, their manufacturing and supply chains are still too heavily dependent on dirty energy sources that are contributing to climate change.
Greenpeace International IT analyst Casey Harrell said "Companies should work with their suppliers to implement more efficient manufacturing processes and to power the supply chain with renewable energy, not fossil fuels, just as they have successfully done to reduce the toxic materials in electronics".
Wipro came out the clear leader, with a score of 7.1 out of ten, because of its efforts to embrace renewable energy and its advocacy for greener energy policies in India. The company also scored well for post-consumer e-waste collection for recycling and for phasing out hazardous substances from its products.
HP dropped from first position in last year’s edition of the guide to second place, with a score of 5.7, slightly down on last year. Nokia stayed in third place with a score of 5.4, which regained some ground lost in 2011. Taiwanese computer maker Acer was the most improved company in the guide, moving up nine spots to No. 4 for engaging with its suppliers on greenhouse gas emissions, hazardous substances, conflict minerals and fibre sourcing. By comparison, Dell dropped from No. 3 to No. 5 with a fall in score only exceeded by Philips, which continued its steady decline to reach 10th place. Blackberry maker RIM did not improve from its 16th ranking, the bottom of the group with a score of just two out of 10.
Review: It’s not always meaningful to make comparisons between one year and the next for these rankings, partly because Greenpeace sometimes moves the goalposts. That’s no bad thing, though, because it keeps the pressure on ICT companies to do better.
The rankings do demonstrate overall improvements – the average score this time round is 4.1, up from 3.8 last year, although a lot of that is down to Wipro. But they also highlight the weak points, in this case the dependence on high carbon energy use down the supply chain, much of which I guess is down to China.