Go with Greener Electronic Gadgets!

Go with Greener Electronic Gadgets!

Save our environment and abate climate change

… by choosing and buying only the electronic and gadget brands that are consciously working on to become greener electronics.

A guide to greener electronics as of chart (as of July 2009, taken from greenpeace.org) above shows that Nokia is leading in this endeavor, with Samsung coming in as close second and Sony Ericsson as third.

The guide ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TV’s and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.

7.45 Nokia — Scores top marks for leading competitors on toxic phase out. Nokia stays in 1st place with the same score of 7.5 that it scored in v.11. Nokia scores maximum points for its comprehensive voluntary take-back programme, which spans 84 countries providing almost 5000 collection points for end-of-life mobile phones. It now also scores top marks for the information it provides to customers on what to do with their discarded products. However, its recycling rate of 3-5% is very poor and more information is needed on how Nokia calculates these figures. It also needs to start using recycled plastics beyond just packaging.

7.1 Samsung — Holds second position for commitment to reduce absolute emissions. Samsung holds its position in 2nd place and increases its score from 6.9 to 7.1, by committing to reduce its absolute emissions of greenhouse gases, despite growth in the company’s sales. Samsung scores relatively well on all the criteria. Since November 2007, all new models of LCD panels are PVC-free, important in driving the market to phase out PVC, with Samsung being the #1 supplier globally. The company has launched partially BFR-free models of mobile phone and developed halogen-free memory chips and semiconductors for certain applications. It has also committed to eliminate phthalates and beryllium and compounds by the end of 2012 from all its products, not just from PCs, TVs and mobile phones.

6.5 Sony Ericsson — Up two places with better product energy efficiency reporting. Sony Ericsson stays in 3rd place with an increased score of 6.5, up from 5.7, with improvements on its performance on energy issues. It scores well on the toxic chemicals and energy criteria, but poorly on all e-waste issues. For more points on e-waste, it needs to increase its lobbying for IPR, continue to extend its take-back and recycling programmes, provide information on its take-back programme for more of its customers and use recycled plastic across all its products – not just a few models.

5.7 LG Electronics — Up two places but needs to eliminate hazardous chemicals from all product. LG Electronics moves up to 4th place from 6th with a slightly improved score of 5.7. It lost points in the last edition of the scorecard for backtracking on its commitment to have all its products free of PVC and BFRs by the end of 2010. Now only mobile phones (no longer mobile products) will be free of these toxic substances from 2010; the timeline for eliminating them in TVs and monitors has been delayed until 2012. BFRs are still to be eliminated in other product lines like washing machines, but no timeline is given. PVC will be totally banned from use in household appliance models by 2014. LGE has launched new models of mobile phones with halogen-free housings, packaging and main printed wiring board. European LCD TVs are produced with halogen free housing, wiring and integrated circuit drive. It provides a timeline of 2012 for eliminating phthalates and antimony – but only in new models of mobile phones (no longer all mobile products) and TVs.

5.5 Toshiba — Moves up two places with an extra point for promising to cut GHGs. Toshiba moves up the ranking from 7th to 5th place with a slight improvement to its score of 5.5, up from 5.3. The company gains a point on its commitment to cutting GHGs, as it has now clarified that it aims to stop increasing emissions by FY2012 and plans to control the absolute reduction at a level of 1.96 million tons by FY2012, to have emissions peak at 70% less than the FY1990 level, and decrease them by a further 10% by 2025. It also gains a point (doubled) on the energy efficiency of its products. All new LCD TVs released since November 2008 are Energy Star compliant and 21 models exceed the specifications by 30% or more and 93% of new PC platforms developed since July 07 can be configured to meet Energy Star 4. Toshiba provides clarification on what it understands by ‘Energy Star configuration’.

5.5 Motorola — Scores higher and climbs two places because of use of renewable energy. Motorola moves up to 6th position from 8th place, with an increased score of 5.5 points, which it gains by reporting that 15% of the energy it purchases is from renewable sources, with a goal is to increase this to 20% by 2010 and 30% by 2020. Motorola scores points on all the energy criteria, bar support for strict global and industrialised country cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. It scores maximum points on the energy efficiency of its products, reporting that from 1 November 2008, all newly designed Motorola mobile phone chargers meet and exceed by 67% the new Energy Star v.2.0 requirements for standby/no-load modes. Motorola also discloses greenhouse gas emissions, although it fails to publish its third party verification certificate of CO2 equivalent emissions, and commits to cuts of 6% in its absolute greenhouse gas emissions by 2010, compared with 2000.

5.3 Philips — Falls from 4th to 7th position and needs to put its commitment to responsible recycling policies into practice. Philips falls from 4th to 7th place with a slightly reduced score of 5.3 points. Philips now supports IPR and is committed to actively work towards developing IPR based recycling systems and their supporting financial mechanisms; it doesn’t score more points on this criterion yet, because it now has to put this commitment into practice. Philips also scores a point for its voluntary take-back pilots and for reporting on the recycling rate of the e-waste it collects in Europe and now needs to demonstrate its commitment to taking responsibility for its own e-waste by expanding its take-back programme and improving the information that its provides to its customers.

5.3 Sharp — Rises from 9th to joint 7th place with its energy efficient products. Sharp continues to move up the ranking from 9th place to joint 7th, with an increased score of 5.3 points, , which it gains for energy efficiency of its products, reporting that all of its TVs meet the latest Energy Star standard and at least half exceed it in standby mode. In addition, all MFPs (multi-functional products) qualify under ES1.1, with nearly 70% at least 30% more energy efficient than the baseline. On other energy issues Sharp only ‘contributes’ to rather than explicitly ‘supports’ a mandatory global initiative that requires industrialized countries to reach their peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 and cut their greenhouse gas emissions at least 30% by 2020. Sharp discloses third party verified GHG emissions from its own operations and reports that 9% of the electricity it used worldwide in fiscal 2006 came from renewable energy sources; however, as most of this is provided as part of the Japanese grid, it scores no points.

4.9 Acer — Put 16 new models of a monitor that are almost free of hazardous chemicals and climbed two places from 11 to 9 but still need to sort out the power cord.   Acer moves up the ranking from 11th to 9th place, with an increased score of 4.9 points, gained for putting on the market 16 models of monitor with many parts that are almost free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), except for the power cord. At the last ranking, the company was not penalised for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs in all products by the end of 2009 as internal communication with Acer revealed that it believes that it can still meet this commitment. Acer now needs to transition its PCs to using no BFRs or PVC.

4.9 Panasonic — Advance from 12th to 10th place for energy efficiency and pvc free product range but still bad on e waste. Panasonic moves up from 12th to 10th place with an increased score of 4.9 points, up from 4.3. It now scores top marks for reporting to the latest Energy Star energy efficiency standards for external power supplies and TVs. All new models of TVs meet the latest ES requirement, with 100% exceeding the standby mode requirement by 70% or more.

4.7 Apple — Drop one position to 11th with no change in scores but get kudos for their green macbook.  Apple’s score remains at 4.7 points but it drops one position in this edition of the ranking to 9th place. All Apple products are now free of PVC and BFRs with the exception of PVC-free power cords which are in the process of being certified. But Apple fails to score top marks on this criterion because it uses unreasonably high threshold limits for BFRs and PVC in products that are allegedly PVC-/BFR-free. The company needs to be commended for running a bold advertising campaign highlighting the green credentials of its MacBooks. Apple still needs to commit to phasing out additional substances with timelines, improve its policy on chemicals and its reporting on chemicals management.

4.5 Sony — Plunges from 5th to 12th place for inadequate commitments on eliminating hazardous chemicals, e waste policy and cutting GHGs.  Sony drops from 5th to 12th place with a reduced score of 4.5, down from 5.5. It loses points on: the precautionary principle criterion; for setting a timeline beyond 2010 (FY2010 means March 2011) for eliminating PVC and Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) in mobile products only; for failing to support Individual Producer Responsibility; for failing to extend its voluntary e-waste take-back and recycling programme beyond North America and for weak support for the levels of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions needed to curb dangerous climate change.

3.9 Dell — Stays at 13th place because of backtracking on toxics phase out. Dell stays in 13th position, with a slightly improved score of 3.9 points, up from 3.7 points in v.11. Dell’s score has plummeted due to the penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs in all its products by the end of 2009. Dell no longer has a timeline for eliminating these nasty substances which means there is no commitment to phase them out entirely.

3.5 HP — Is at 14th position and has no products on the market free of toxic substances.  HP moves up the ranking from penultimate (16th) to 14th place, weighed down by a penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in computing products by end of 2009. In a call with Greenpeace in February 2009, the company admitted that it would be unable to meet its commitment. There is now a new timeline of 2011 but it is unclear if this is the start or end of 2011. In addition, HP has no products on the market free of these toxic substances.

2.5 Microsoft — Loses a point for a poor recycling policy but stays in 15th position.  Microsoft stays in 15th position but its score drops from 2.7 to 2.5 points, as it loses a point for failing to provide explicit support for Individual Producer Responsibility. On other e-waste criteria, Microsoft fails to score any points.

2.5 Lenovo — Down two places with no set timeline for toxics phase out on all products. Lenovo drops from 14th to 16th position with its score down from 3.1 to 2.5 points, encumbered by a penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in all its products by the end of 2009. Lenovo’s new timeline for meeting this commitment of end of 2010 is to be dropped and there is no new timeline.

2.4 Fujitsu — Debuts second from last with no products that are free of hazardous chemicals.  Fujitsu debuts the scorecard in penultimate (17th) position with a score of 2.4, above Nintendo and just below Lenovo on 2.5. Fujitsu scores most points on energy for: supporting global cuts and need for emissions to peak by 2020 (not 2015); reporting verified greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and for reporting of the energy efficiency of its notebook and desktop PCs, albeit inadequate. Fujitsu has no commitment to reduce absolute greenhouse gas emissions and reports on renewable energy use only in Europe, which is at least 15% of purchased electricity in 2007.

1 Nintendo — Stays put in last position with a glimmer of hope with partially pvc free consoles.  Nintendo remains in last place but with an increased score of 1 out of 10, up from 0.8 points in v.11, for putting on the market games consoles whose internal wiring is PVC-free. The company has banned phthalates and is monitoring use of antimony and beryllium and although it is endeavouring to eliminate the use of PVC, it has not set a timeline for its phase out.

Note:  Above information are taken from Greenpeace.org

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