Saturday, September 20, 2008

Greenpeace - assessment of electronics

Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics: Nokia Leads the Pack, Nintendo Falls Flat

It’s that time of year again—Greenpeace has released the 9th edition of The Guide to Greener Electronics. The guide scores companies based on a set of criteria for chemicals, e-waste, and energy.

This year, Nokia regained its first place crown with a rating of 7 out of 10 points. The company performed well in a variety of areas— it has an excellent take-back policy in India, and all new products since 2005 are vinyl-plastic (PVC) free. Additionally, all models released after 2009 will be free of brominated flame retardants (BFR) and antimony trioxide.

So why is it a good thing that Nokia is getting rid of PVCs and BFRs? PVCs release dioxin, a known carcinogen, and BFRs are reproductive and developmental neurotoxins that build up over time in the human body.

Samsung also got the nod as a green company, receiving 5.7 points out of 10. All new Samsung LCD panels since 2007 are PVC-free—a big deal since Samsung is the number one LCD panel supplier globally. The company also reports recycling rates of 137% for TVs, 12% for PCs, and 9% for mobile phones.

Coming in dead last in the Greenpeace guide is Nintendo, with a shameful rating of 0.8 points out of 10. While Nintendo has banned phthalates and plans to eliminate the use of PVC, it hasn’t set a timeline for their goal. And though the company claims that it wants to cut CO2 emissions, it admits that an increase in business has led to a 6% rise in emissions since 2006. Ouch.

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