Greenpeace's new guide to who ranks where on the scale of environmental responsibility always has a few changes for the companies that are usually neck and neck. The guide helps consumers know which companies to support and which to prod into better practices. And this time, it's HP in the lead.
HP scored the highest with a 5.9 out of a possible 10. The company moved up three places since the last guide, as it improved sustainable operations and energy criteria. The problems holding it back have to do with their devices. Their products could use more attention -- Greenpeace notes, "It scores the least points in the Products category; although it scores comparatively well for its progress on phasing out the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from its product range and is on track to achieve 90 percent of its new goal to phase out BFR and PVC in newly introduced personal computing products in 2011. HP needs to report on the amount of post-consumer plastics it uses as a percentage of all plastics and publicly disclose the length of warranty and spare parts availability for its main product lines, as well as show more innovations to extend product life."The group also notes that HP needs to provide a summary of what percentage of its products meet Energy Star standards and make that information available to the public.
Meanwhile, Dell ranks second at 5.1, with props for its target to reduce emissions by 40% by 2015. However, it also struggles with products that meet Greenpeace's tough criteria. Nokia earned 4.9, slipping from the leadership position, and Apple ranks 4.6, based mainly on poor energy use. Philips, Sony Ericcsson, Samsung and Lenovo are also among more of the 15 top companies ranked. A full report card can be found on Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics site.
A glance through may help you decide where you really want to put your money on new electronics this season, based on who is working the hardest on environmental responsibility.
This is the 17th version of the guide, and it ranks companies based on their work to reduce GHG emissions and clean up use of hazardous substances in products, as well as their take-back and recycling programs and eliminating the use of unsustainable material. The guide's criteria has shifted a bit from previous versions because, as Greenpeace notes, "Given the urgency of tackling climate change, Greenpeace has re-focused and updated its energy criteria to encourage electronics companies to improve their corporate policies and practices with respect to Energy and Climate."