Oct 7, 2009

Who Tops Greenpeace’s Newest Electronics Report?

First released in 2006, Greenpeace’s most recent Greener Electronics guide shows notable shifts from past issues.

The guide ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TVs and game consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. Nokia and Samsung lead the list, with Lenovo and Nintendo ranking last.

According to Greenpeace, Nokia’s success is primarily based on its recycling and e-waste education outreach. “Nokia scores maximum points for its comprehensive voluntary take-back programme, which spans 84 countries providing almost 5,000 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 to 5 percent 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,” according to its Web site.

According to Greenpeace’s Web site, “It is possible to make clean, durable products that can be upgraded, recycled or disposed of safely and don’t end up as hazardous waste in someone’s backyard.”

Greenpeace’s new guide comes shortly on the heels of Apple’s announcement that its Environment section on its Web site contains full life cycle analyses of all its products. “We’re the only company in our industry that considers the environmental footprint of every product we make. And we’re the only company to add up all our greenhouse gas emissions and tell you how they are distributed across — and beyond — a product’s lifespan.”

Apple’s estimates include:

  • Raw material extraction
  • Manufacturing
  • Packaging
  • Transportation
  • A three- or four-year period of use
  • Recycling

Apple has since determined that 95 percent of its total greenhouse gas emissions worldwide come from its products. Because of this, individual reports are available for every Apple product, enabling consumers to make informed choices about the life cycle impact of their gadgets.

Jennifer Berry is a staff member at Earth911.com.

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