When you think of consumer electronics, the color that comes to mind is rarely green.
Greenpeace is seeking to change that with its “Guide to Greener Electronics,” ratings guide which provides valuable information for eco-conscious consumers… and just a bit of pressure to increase corporate sustainability.
Greenpeace closely examines the policies and practices of hardware manufacturers and gives them a grade on the following factors:
- chemical waste
- recycling efforts
- public efforts on environmental issues
The final factor – public efforts on environmental issues – was recently added. Greenpeace considers whether the corporation supports the adoption of industry-wide laws to prohibit use of environmentally damaging materials. Greenpeace hopes that this strategy will translate consumer power into industry pressure, which in turn could result in lobbying efforts to mandate even greener electronics.
Wouldn’t you like your company to be the greenest? That spot is currently taken by Nokia!
Yet, Greenpeace took a point away from Nokia’s score based on the last, corporate sustainability factor.
Basically, while the guide to greener electronics can assist consumers in making eco-friendly choices, Greenpeace is thinking bigger. Pressuring for across-the-board regulations that prohibit environmentally-unsafe materials is a win-win for both consumers and the Earth.
In a statement, Greenpeace noted:
“The use of harmful chemicals in electronic products prevents their safe recycling once the products are discarded. Given the increasing evidence of climate change and the urgency of addressing this issue, Greenpeace has added new energy criteria to encourage electronics companies to improve their corporate policies and practices.”
Greenpeace believes that companies should support adoption of a new version of the European Union’s RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics). Doing so would result in the banning of: brominated flame retardants (BFRs), chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs), and PVC vinyl plastic from being used in the manufacturing of electronics.
Want to know how your favorite electronics company rates? There are detailed reports for Acer, Apple, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Motorola, Nintendo, Nokia, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, and Toshiba, as well as a ranking chart at the “Guide to Greener Electronics” page at Greenpeace Web site.