Image via Greenpeace
The latest Greenpeace greener electronic ranking has just come out. The ranking shows which companies are holding their own on the green front, and which have slipped behind on sustainability initiatives. In the lastest version, Philips makes a surprising leap forward to rank up there with HP thanks to a new TV that cuts out PVC and BFRs, while Toshiba and Microsoft fall behind, increasing the chasm between companies who are living up to green goals and those who aren't. "There is a growing gulf between companies that are consistently innovating and leading by releasing greener products and companies that just make big promises," said Greenpeace toxics campaigner Casey Harrell. "By launching a PVC- and BFR-free TV, Philips has overcome the technical hurdles to removing these toxic substances from this product group - there is now no excuse for other TV manufacturers not to follow."
Greenpeace reports, "New products free of PVC and BFRs (2) have been put on the shelves by Acer, the Indian companies Wipro and HCL, and HP, which now has several lines of notebooks, desktops and most recently a PVC-free printer. In contrast, Toshiba, LGE, Samsung, Dell and Lenovo still have no whole PC product lines free from these substances."
The notches against Toshiba and Microsoft come from the companies failing to remove these substances from products they had previously committed to improving.
While trying to be as well-rounded as possible, it seems Greenpeace tends to focus on certain details with the ranking guide, including eliminating PVC and BFRs. While important in making products less hazardous, there are other bigger picture items that may be getting overlooked. Launching a product that doesn't have PVC or BFRs doesn't mean it's a green item, or that the company is really stepping it up. Being sustainable goes down into sourcing materials, minimizing waste in the design of products, designing for longevity, repairability and recyclability. We like to see these areas emphasized as much as what the companies are leaving out of their products.
That said, the ranking puts Nokia and Sony Ericsson in the lead -- and we know that Nokia is committed to sustainability on many levels, including keeping an eagle-eye watch on their materials sourcing and pushing the envelope on recycling. Also, the ranking notes that Panasonic is given brownie points for initiating a take-back program for its TVs in India -- an first for TV manufacturers.
Check out the rankings for complete details on the companies for each of their pluses and minuses for sustainable actions.
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