New leaders and new records in Greenpeace’s latest greener electronics guide
Amsterdam, International — The sixth edition of Greenpeace International’s ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’ has been expanded to include televisions and game consoles.(1) Market leaders Microsoft, Nintendo, Philips and Sharp enter at the bottom of the ranking of environmental performance with Nintendo being the first company scoring zero out of a possible 10 points. Philips and Microsoft performed little better, scoring only 2 and 2.7, respectively.
The global games consoles sector shipped 62.7 million units in 2006. Growth of 14.9 per cent in the year made it one of the fastest developing sectors in the field of electronic products. The low scores from leading manufacturers Nintendo and Microsoft reveal that they still have a long way to go in improving their environmental policies and practices.
“It’s encouraging to see Sharp and Microsoft providing timelines for the complete elimination of vinyl plastic (PVC) and all brominated flame retardants (BFRs) across their entire product range,” commented Iza Kruszewska, toxics campaigner at Greenpeace International.
The new edition of the quarterly guide shows important changes at the top of the ranking. Sony Ericsson has taken over the top spot from Nokia while Samsung and Sony have surged ahead to now occupy second and third positions.
Nokia and Motorola have both received penalty points for corporate misbehaviour. Greenpeace tested the implementation of product takeback programmes in six countries where Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson claim on their websites to operate product takeback programmes.(2) Nokia representatives in the Philippines, Thailand, Argentina, Russia and India were not informed about their companies’ own programmes and in many cases provided misleading information. Motorola staff in the Philippines, Thailand and India were unable to direct customers to collection points in their respective countries.
As a result, Nokia falls from top position to ninth and Motorola drops from ninth position to fourteenth.
“Companies shouldn’t be under any illusions that we won’t check up on their claims of green greatness,” warned Iza Kruszewska.
Apple, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba have recently indicated that they now produce personal computers, lighting LCD panels, camcorders and digital cameras - or at least major components of these items - which are free of PVC and/or BFRs.
Firms which are upwardly mobile in the Greenpeace Guide are those whose entire products, or major components of products, are entirely free of specified hazardous ingredients. Companies which simply commit to eliminating harmful chemicals sometime in the future achieve a lower score.
“Commitments to coming clean in the future are no longer sufficient to secure a top place in the ranking,” said Iza Kruszewska. “Companies that aspire to environmental leadership need to be putting products on the market that are free of harmful chemicals. And they need to offer customers, wherever they are, a service to take back old products for recycling responsibly,” she added.
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