Nokia tops latest Greener Electronics Guide
See how the companies perform in Greenpeace's latest guide.
Company scores plummeted in the previous edition of Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics, when new criteria on climate change were introduced. However, leading brands like Nokia and Samsung are now making significant progress in greening their electronics products, with improved environmental policies responding not only to these new energy criteria, but also to the more stringent chemical and e-waste criteria.
First launched in August 2006, the Guide ranks the leaders of the mobile phone, computer, TV and games console markets according to their policies and practices on toxic chemicals, recycling and energy.
Five leading brands (Nokia, Sony, Fujitsu Siemens, Samsung, Sony Ericsson) are making significant progress in greening their electronics products. Nokia regains the lead it last had in 2007, ranking seven points out of ten. Its table-topping score is due to improved take-back practice in India.
"Most of the brands are responding to the more stringent chemical and e-waste criteria in the Greenpeace Guide and the recently added energy criteria. Top scorers on energy efficiency of individual products are Apple, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Samsung. Toshiba is an example of one company that has improved its climate policy," said Iza Kruszewska, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace International.
Fujitsu Siemens Computers jumps to third place -- up from 15 in June -- with a score of 5.5 points. The company has finally set late 2010 as its deadline for eliminating PVC plastic and all brominated flame retardants (BFRs) across its product range. Sony Ericsson ranked fourth followed by Sony, both scoring 5.3.
So far, no company has released a computer completely free of BFRs and PVC, though several have recently launched new products with restricted amounts of toxic BFRs and PVC. Last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that the new iPod line will be free of BFRs, PVC and mercury, following the lead of companies like Nokia and Sony Ericsson.
"We see this as a very positive step by Apple towards its commitment to eliminate these toxic elements from all of its products by end of 2008. But, we are disappointed with the new iPod's built-in obsolescence - high battery replacement costs encourage a new product purchase," Kruszewska stressed.
Philips stands out as the company with the worst position on e-waste and recycling. It ranks 12th with 4.3 points, retaining its penalty point for negative lobbying on Individual Producer Responsibility in the European Union. Tell Philips to take back and recycle.
Languishing at the bottom is Microsoft, which received 2.2; Sharp, 3.1; and Nintendo which remains rooted to the bottom with 0.8.
The Guide continues to drive significant change in the industry with Intel's recent announcement that its new Xeon 5400 processors use transistors made from Hafnium so avoiding the use of fire retardants such as BFRs.
With more companies now scoring higher than 5 out of 10 - the halfway mark in the ranking - a company that rises to the challenge of phasing out toxic chemicals, increasing the recycling rate of e-waste, using recycled materials in new products and reducing its impact on climate change could soon find itself winning the race to produce the world's first truly green electronics.
Download the full guide and criteria.