updated 02:05 pm EST, Tue November 27, 2007
Greenpeace December 2007
A combination of new entrants and shifts in corporate practices have shaken up the rankings for ecologically friendly electronics makers, according to the December 2007 Greenpeace guide to the technology industry. Apple has improved from its previously very low scores, moving from 12th to 11th place; this is largely due to the use of aluminum and glass for the new iMac as well as a reduction in toxic chemicals for many iPods. The company nonetheless needs to more explicitly outline which hazardous substances it continues to use and also needs to greatly expand its takeback policy for recycling obsolete hardware outside of the US, Greenpeace argues.
Sony-Ericsson has taken its place as the leader chiefly by its improved takeback disclosures and getting rid of PVC plastic when possible, falling down only slightly due to its actual takeback practice; it effectively tied with the much improved Korean firm Samsung, which could boast of similar positives and drawbacks.
However, new additions to the list typically fare very poorly, the environmental group notes. While HDTV makers Philips and Sharp receive low initial scores for very little in the way of takeback programs, the primary offenders are Microsoft and Nintendo; both do very little to publicize or offer recycling, and none of their products are completely free of key toxic substances. Nintendo in particular is the only company involved since the guides began that has scored a zero in every category, Greenpeace says. The group does not explain which products are the offenders for these two firms but implies that the fault lies with consoles, such as the Xbox 360 and the Wii.