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New Greenpeace guide lauds Apple, attacks PC makers

updated 12:40 pm EDT, Wed July 1, 2009

Greenpeace attacks PCs

Large PC builders are dragging their feet when it comes to environmental promises, claims Greenpeace. The activist group has once again updated its Guide to Greener Electronics, which assigns relative rankings to major high-tech corporations. A new development is the assignment of "penalty points" to major PC builders, including HP, Dell and Lenovo. The companies have delayed plans to strip PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from computers, Greenpeace says, and in the case of HP, none of its current systems have reduced toxicity.

The chemicals are not an immediate danger, but can have long-term impact, especially on the people and wildlife near dumpsites in Asia and Africa, where toxins can accumulate in larger quantities.

Greenpeace meanwhile continues to praise Apple, which it says has worked hard to ensure Macs are nearly free of PVC, and entirely free of BFRs. It is "ridiculous" that companies like Dell are challenging Apple advertising, Greenpeace claims, when the latter is performing so well next to its rivals. The Better Business Bureau has however recommended that Apple stop calling MacBooks the most environmentally-friendly notebooks on the market.

Leading the new rankings are Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, whereas the bottom is occupied by console maker Nintendo. Sony itself has fallen precipitously from 5th to 12th place, having lost progress on recycling.

by MacNN Staff



  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I saw lots and lots of comments attacking Greenpeace for criticizing Apple in the past. I don't see a one praising them for being consistent and coming out in favor of Apple when Apple complies to their demands. I think they deserve some acknowledgement for being fair, yes?

  1. slider

    Joined: Dec 1969


    As it goes

    I appreciate what GP is trying to do and I understand some of their tactics - some of which are questionable. The issue GP has to deal with when it comes to large companies, or their legal and/or lobbyist arms - either directly or through some 'association of xyz" - is that more often than not these groups can and do find loop holes and/or successfully lobby congress to change/ease environmental protection laws not to the benefit of human health and the environment, but to that of these corporation's profits.

    But, I think GP can't expect (nor do I think that's their goal or desire) to get praise from the public as a whole. It's the issue of recognizing a need, but not really being comfortable with what that requires. As an example (without intending to draw any parallels) war is often explained in this way. No sane person wants to go to war, but sometimes (ie n*** Germany) there's really no other way.

    And, I believe most of the "attacks" on GP on these boards had to do with GP criticizing Apple simply b/c they were Apple and a well recognized company especially as many other PC companies has just as bad or worst environmentally records.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This has little to nothing to do with fairness - it is more an act of desperate backpedaling, at this point. For years GP praised the likes of HP, Lenovo and Dell for their 'promises' and maligned Apple because Apple ignored and didn't care for GP, or paying them a 'contribution'. Now that it turns out that HP, Lenovo and Dull's promises were empty (not to say, lies), and Apple is the only company that actually consistently has taken active steps to reducing their toxicity footprint, GP ends up with egg on their face.Trying to distract from that by now heaping praise on Apple is the least they can do. This doesn't deserve recognition.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who cares?

    Who cares what GreenPeace thinks about anything? If you leave it to the greeners, we'd all be wearing loincloths and trading seashells.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Dumb MacNN text editor!!!

  1. lowededwookie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple didn't cave

    @The Vicar:

    Apple didn't cave to GreenPeace's demands so GreenPeace doesn't deserve to be praised at all.

    GreenPeace is FINALLY recognising the work Apple has been doing over the last 20 years... LOOOOONG before GreenPeace was pushing for tech companies to reduce toxic chemicals.

  1. brainiac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Greenpeac is like my wife

    Greenpeace is like my wife when she is PMS-ing. "I HATE YOU!!! No, I'm sorry honey, I love you, I need a hug. WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU BOUGHT ME FLOWERS TO MAKE ME FEEL HAPPY!!! WHY THE h*** WOULD YOU THINK I'M NOT HAPPY! I love you, can you rub my feet?" You never know what you will hear next.

  1. bigpoppa206

    Joined: Dec 1969



    way too political to believe them anymore!

  1. ender

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Penalty Points

    Greenpeace adding penalty points to the others for not following through highlights the problem with their whole methodology in the first place. In the past they ranked companies based on what they said they *intended" as published on their web sites. Apple, which is famously known for not saying much about their plans, ranked last not because of what they where doing with their products, but because they failed to publish it on their web site.

    And now GP is assessing penalty points for those other companies not following through with their environmental statements. Are they really surprised by this? If so, further evidence that they are totally out of touch with the real world.

  1. jreades

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Fail to get these replies

    OK, so let's get this straight:
    1. Apple, along with most other makes, uses PVCs and BFRs in systems
    2. Greenpeace says: PVCs and BFRs bad for environment
    3. Greenpeace notes that other makers have promised to remove said products from systems, Apple has not
    4. Greenpeace says this makes Apple worst system maker at that time
    5. Three years later Apple has removed most PVCs & BFRs from systems, other makers have not
    6. Greenpeace says: Good for you Apple, shame on you other makers

    To me this seems like Greenpeace is being thoroughly consistent. While everyone is still using nasties in their computers and the replacements are not fully on-stream, Greenpeace rates the manufacturers on their promises to do better. A few years down the line when manufacturers have had a chance to actually put their words into action, then Greenpeace starts rating them on actions instead and rewards Apple commensurately.

    Where's the illogic or inconsistency in this? I'd be willing to bet that if Apple hadn't been singled out by Greenpeace back then they'd have put less work into cleaning up their act -- more than any other company in the business, Apple wants a progressive image, so the best way to get them to deliver on something is to attack that image. Greenpeace did this very successfully and now they can turn to the other manufacturers and say: Apple cleaned up its act, why haven't you? Frankly, I think it's rather clever strategically even if they probably haven't endeared themselves to Steve.

    I also like the way this post draws out the more 'interesting' views... let's see: Greenpeace lobbying for the removal of toxic substances that are causing cancers in developing countries (particularly among day labourers and children involved in the 'recycling' industry) is equated to wanting us to live in loincloths. They aren't even saying that people shouldn't buy computers, just that these particular substances (for which there are now perfectly good replacements) should no longer be used because of their downstream impacts. Tell you what, since you don't care, we'll bring over a few tons of junked electronics and dump them in your backyard. Do you have kids? Maybe they can help recycle them for us?

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