Greenpeace has released the latest version of their 'Guide to Greener Electronics.' The August 2006 edition of the guide has not changed much beyond the inclusion of televisions and game consoles. Apple has climbed a few spots, but that is mostly because of the introduction of the new companies.
Greenpeace's 'Guide to Greener Electronics' ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals and recycling.
Like all versions before it, this guide is not based on any actual research, the information used being based simply on the public information on the companies' website. Companies are scored depending on their published policies and various promises, not on their actual practices and results.
The Greenpeace list from best to worst:7.7: Sony Ericsson - New leader due to improved takeback reporting, new models PVC free, but falls down on takeback practice.
7.7: Samsung - Big improvements, with more products free of the worst toxic chemicals. Loses points for incomplete takeback practice.
7.3: Sony - More products free of toxic PVC and improved reporting on recycling and takeback especially in the US.
7.3: Dell - Unchanged since the last version, still no products on the market without the worst chemicals.
7.3: Lenovo - Unchanged since the last version, still no products on the market without the worst chemicals.
7.0: Toshiba - Much improved on toxic chemicals but still lobbies in the US for regressive takeback policies.
7.0: LGE - Unchanged since the last version, need better takeback for products other than phones.
7.0: Fujitsu-Siemens - Unchanged since the last version, needs toxic elimination timelines, better takeback coverage and reporting of amounts recycled.
6.7: Nokia- A steep fall! Strong on toxic chemicals but penalty point deducted for deficiencies in takeback practice in Thailand, Russia and Argentina during our testsing.
6.7: HP - Finally provided timelines for eliminating worst toxic chemicals, though not for all products; needs to improve takeback coverage.
6.0: Apple - Slightly improved with new iMacs and some iPods reducing the use of toxic chemicals, takeback programme still needs more work.
5.7: Acer - Unchanged since the last version, needs better takeback coverage and reporting of amounts recycled.
5.0: Panasonic - Unchanged since the last version, need better takeback coverage and reporting of amounts recycled.
5.0: Motorola - Big faller due to penalty point for poor takeback practice in Philippines, Thailand and India revealed by our testing. Still no timelines for eliminating the most harmful chemicals.
4.7: Sharp - New to the guide - some plus points on toxic chemicals elimination but poor takeback policy and practice.
2.7: Microsoft - New to the guide - long timeline for toxic chemicals elimination (2011) and poor takeback policy and practice.
2.0: Philips - New to the guide - no timeline for toxic chemicals elimination and zero points on e-waste policy and practice.
0.0: Nintendo - New to the guide - first global brand to score zero across all criteria!
Apple used to take the 14 out of 14 spot, now they have moved up to 11 out of 18. It is important to note that the company didn't really need to do much to go up the list, simply publish its plans for eliminating harmful materials, as well as an open letter explaining all of the things that the company has been doing behind the scenes in order to make their products greener. Incidentally this also implied giving Greenpeace a lot of free publicity, the thing they seem to be actively going after.
In light of the previous guides as well as reports such as those on the iPhone which were basically hit pieces, this report should be taken with a big chunk of salt.