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Greenpeace calls out Dell for failing to match Apple

updated 11:35 am EDT, Tue July 13, 2010

Greenpeace says Dell stalling on green efforts

Greenpeace on Tuesday chastised Dell for not matching Apple in its commitments to making eco-friendly devices. The environmental activists held up the iPhone 4 as proof that even a mainstream, widely sold piece of electronics could be toxin-free and thus that Dell had no excuses for continuing to sell toxic systems. A statement from the organization accused Dell of continuing to "walk back" on promises it made to clean up its computers.

Dell as early as 2006 had promised to get rid of all bromide flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic from every electronic device it made by the end of 2009 and made a public showing of joining The Climate Group in February 2008. Since first committing to a plan, however, it has repeatedly scaled back its efforts. It removed a statement of its 2009 target the same month as it signed on to the Climate Group, and by November 2008 had dropped any mention of a timeline. A year later, it pledged itself again but would only commit to 2011 and limited its scope to PCs, not any other device it makes.

Apple, by contrast, had eliminated all BFRs and PVC plastics from its products by March 2009, with the exception of power cords, and has made a point of shipping devices with as many recyclable products as possible. Nearly all Macs are now made primarily of aluminum and glass, and mobile devices like the iPad and iPhone 4 are also made primarily of recyclable materials. Many also have much improved batteries that both run for longer on a charge and can go through more charges before they run out of power, reducing the amount of dead batteries tossed aside each year.

No explanation has been given by Dell as to why it has been relatively slow to improve its reputation, although it has some gestures such as green packaging and introducing very low-power desktops and netbooks. Rivals of a similar size, such as HP, have nonetheless been faster in upgrading at least some of their model lines to avoid toxins.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Geoduck

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So how's that Whaling thing going for you?

    When Greenpeace made such a stink about Apple a few years ago I criticized them for being more about donations and publicity than accomplishing anything. Now some years later they are after Dell and my criticism still stands. Greenpeace is making a lot of press releases and flapping their gums while The Sierra Club, WWF, and Ducks Unlimited are actually accomplishing something.

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I guess...

    ... DELL must have missed a paymnet or two...?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. blinkin357

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Nuts to Greenpeace

    I'm totally fed up with this GREEN mentality.

    Up until now, I accepted it but I'm so sick of the tail wagging the dog here that I'm boycotting anything that says GREEN on the package. Dell has now become my favorite computer company. I will not buy a hybrid car no matter what gasoline costs.

    Also I support offshore drilling DRILL BABY DRILL !

    Comment buried. Show
  1. Mr. Strat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who cares?

    Who cares what these tree hugging a******* say?

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Makes Sense, Windows is More Toxic

    Dell's run Windows, which is itself a form of toxic waste, so why not match those levels with the box that runs it?

    The fact that Greenpeace makes a lot of noise and gets headlines is part of their mission: raising consciousness. The way they choose to do that is questionable at this point. Greenpeace used to be a good organization, but there are far better environmental groups out there. NRDC, Friends of the Earth, Nature Conservancy, etc..

  1. bdmarsh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple walked the walk

    Greenpeace criticized because Apple wouldn't declare what green measures they were taking, and didn't have a record of the plan, or what carbon footprint they used for the various aspects of business. Other companies declare what they were going to do...

    Now a few years later, we do see that Apple has continued to reduce toxins, and use energy efficient parts. While many other companies have made few changes generally, although some have followed through on at least the carbon footprint
    (although dell does that that fairly energy efficient bamboo mini-like system)

    as a response to "blinkin357" - I'm loving my Hybrid Camry we bought used, for highway driving there is little point with the current generation hybrids, but for City driving it is using half of what our old car used, and half of what most current equiv. models do use.
    But until the car companies stop treating Hybrid a luxury, and make it an option on base model cars, it is going to be expensive. (At least up until last year, every Hybrid model was based on the highest end gas only model, then the Hybrid was added, so it pretty much has every option included)
    I'd also done stuff like switched to CFL's mostly so I wouldn't have to change bulbs what seemed like all of the time (I have had I think it is 3 CFL's fail over the past 7-8 years or so)
    The town I grew up in, and the city I currently live in have had recycling for long periods of time. Even have a composter going... quite amazing how much less junk gets thrown into the land fill.
    The computer company I work for even does recycling of old computers & teamed up with the province, electronics that can't be reused get dealt with by a company in Alberta that doesn't actually ship anything overseas. They extract the metals and properly deal with the toxins.

    stuff that is easy, and just makes sense.

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