Greenpeace slams PC makers green credentials

Green IT

Apple, Dell, Motorola, Microsoft, Samsung and Nintendo demonstrate the least engagement with environmental concerns according to today's Greenpeace report into the tech sector's policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.

The tenth quarterly Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics found these companies had failed to demonstrate any real commitment to cutting their own CO2 emissions or accepting responsibility as a climate leader in a post-Kyoto political climate.

Greenpeace International climate & energy campaigner Mel Francis said: "It is disappointing that such innovative and fast-changing companies are moving so slowly, when they could be turning the regulation we need on global emissions into a golden business opportunity."

According to criteria based on the use of toxic chemicals in the manufacturing process, as well as recycling and energy targets, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, Philips and Sharp were in line with international greenhouse gas reduction targets.

HP, along with Philips and Nokia, gained points for its commitment to absolute reductions in its own greenhouse gas emissions from product manufacture and supply chains.

But Philips and HP still featured in the bottom half of the Greenpeace rankings, losing out because of a lack of improvement in how they handle e-waste.

Nokia came out top overall for similar commitments in the supply chain, but also because it scored maximum points for its comprehensive voluntary take-back programme. While Sony Ericsson and Toshiba followed in second and third place.

Motorola, Toshiba and Sharp were the biggest movers up the chart, while the companies dropping down the ranking were Acer, Dell, HP and Apple. Although Apple did get a few extra points for better reporting on the carbon footprint of its products and for removing PVC and brominated flame retardants from its new iPods.

Greenpeace criticised Dell and Acer for failing to reduce their use of toxic chemicals, where Dell in particular lost points for withdrawing from its commitment to eliminate all PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants by the end of 2009.

Nintendo remained at the bottom of the ranking, although Greenpeace said it had taken small steps to address the presence of some potentially toxic additives in its plastics.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.