Saturday, June 30, 2007

 
posted by Sarah Krasley @ 10:09 PM
On my way to happy hour drinks with friends, I had to cross the line of iPhone fanatics waiting in line to get the iPhone on opening day. Two were at the point of throwing puches. People take new electronics very seriously.

So should you. But you shouldn't throw punches--instead exert the mighty arm of consumer choice and only buy from companies with good sustainability ratings. On a related note, Apple moved up in the ranks this year. Green Peace has taken the guess work out by issuing their annual Guide to Greener Electronics--while my new digital alarmclock was not mentioned, here's how the electronics giants faired (from the Greenpeace website):

Our Green Electronics Guide ranks leading mobile and PC manufacturers on their global policies and practice on eliminating harmful chemicals and on taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers. Companies are ranked on information that is publicly available and communications/clarifications with the companies.

There have been three previous editions:

First Edition August 2006.
Second Edition December 2006.
Third Edition March 2007.

This edition was published June 27, 2007. See the Full Report here.




8
Nokia - Regained its top position for eliminating the worst chemicals from many products. Still needs to report on its recycling rate percentage. More

7.3 Dell - Still among the top but loses points for not having models free of the worst chemicals. Strong support for global takeback. More

7.3
Lenovo - Dropping down the rank for not having a clear global take back program. Still missing out on products free of the worst chemicals on the market. More

7
Sony Ericsson - Still among the top with clear timeline to have products free of the worst chemicals by 2008. Need better chemicals takeback reporting program. More

6.7
Samsung - Strong position for having a good chemical policy, but still lack products that are free from the worst chemicals. Its take back system is not yet global and need improvement. More

6.7 Motorola - Some products on the market are free from the worst chemicals but loses points for not providing clear timelines for eliminating these chemicals in all products. Score points on reporting the recycling rate. More

6
Toshiba - Good improvement particularly on waste and take back criteria. Moved forward for providing some models without the worst chemicals and for timelines for complete phase out. More

6 Fujitsu-Siemens - Some models free of worst chemicals, but loses point for a weak takeback and recycling program. More

5.7
Acer - Standing still with improved chemical policies but no models free of the worst chemicals. Needs to improve on takeback program. More

5.3
Apple - Top mover with concrete timelines to eliminate the worst chemicals. Loses points for not have a green product on the market and for a weak take back program. More

5.3 HP - A free-faller, dropping down for failing to provide clear timelines for eliminating the worst chemicals. It looses points for weak definition of take back policies. More

5 Panasonic - Moving up for making available products free of the worst chemicals. Loses point for poor takeback program. More

4.3 LGE - It looses penalty point for inconsistent takeback policies. But score points for providing a mobile free of the worst chemical. Need improvement. More

4 Sony - At the bottom of the rank for losing penalty point for inconsistent takeback policies. Some models without the worst chemicals. More


Ranking criteria explained


The ranking criteria reflect the demands of the Toxic Tech campaign to the electronics companies. Our two demands are that companies should:

  • clean up their products by eliminating hazardous substances;
  • takeback and recycle their products responsibly once they become obsolete.

The two issues are connected. The use of harmful chemicals in electronics prevents their safe recycling when the products are discarded. Companies scored marks out of 30 this has then been calculated to a mark out of 10 for simplicity.

Follow the more link beside each company for the full details of their score. The full criteria for scoring the companies is available. Download the full pdf of the scorecard.

Each score is based solely on public information on the companies website. Companies found not to be following their published policies will be deducted penalty point in future versions of the guide.

The guide is updated every 3 months. The current version was published on the 27 June 2007.

Disclaimer: Our 'Guide to Greener Electronics' aims to clean up the electronics sector and get manufacturers to take responsibility for the full life cycle of their products, including the electronic waste that their products generate. The guide does not rank companies on labour standards, energy use or any other issues, but recognises that these are important in the production and use of electronics products.

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