New Electronic Gadgets - They may be smaller, slimmer, slicker and faster…but are they greener?

Press release - 8 January, 2009
The greenest consumer electronic products on the market today have a smaller environmental footprint than those sold a year ago but the industry as a whole still has plenty of room for improvement, according to a new survey released by Greenpeace.

"We're on the hunt for a truly green product that is free from toxic chemicals and excels in energy efficiency and durability(1)," said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner. "We're pleased to say that the electronics industry has taken encouraging strides towards increasing the green features on some gadgets over the past year but none stand out in all environmental categories(2). The race for the green winner is still on."

"Green Electronics: the search continues" assesses the progress made over the past year by consumer electronic companies on their public commitments to green their products.  Fifteen major electronics brands(3) submitted 50 of their most environmentally friendly new products - mobile and smart phones, televisions, computer monitors, notebook and desktop computers, and game consoles. Greenpeace assessed and scored each of these products against a set of environmental criteria.(4)

Greenpeace found that fewer electronic products on the market contain harmful PVC plastic and fewer hazardous chemicals are being used in products. LED displays, which save energy and avoid the use of mercury in backlights, are more commonplace. Manufacturers are using larger quantities of post-consumer recycled plastic in TVs and monitors and producers have established more comprehensive voluntary take-back and recycling programmes. Most companies have also adapted quickly to the new requirements of Energy Star, a well recognised benchmark for energy efficiency.

The Lenovo L2440x wide computer monitor scored highest with 6.9 points (on a 10 point scale) and is far ahead of the competition in the monitor category. Other product category leaders include the Sharp LC-52GX5 television (5.92), the Samsung F268 mobile phone (5.45), the Nokia 6210 Smart phone (5.2) the Toshiba Portege R600 (5.57) and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M58 Desktop (5.88).

"The scores are higher and closer together this year, suggesting a more competitive race to green gadgets, but consumers are still having to choose between gadgets that are green in one way but grey in another," said Harrell.

Greenpeace also combined the top scores of each product category to make a composite score for the industry. These 'best practice' scores, ranging as high as 8.6, demonstrate that there is environmental know-how available now to produce electronics that are significantly greener than anything on the shelves today.  

"The electronics industry is heading in the right direction. To stay in the race, each company needs to put its foot on the accelerator, applying any progress it has made across all of its product lines and adopting each other's best practices. We're confident that, as part of the most innovative industry on the planet, these companies can step up to this green challenge," said Harrell.  

Other contacts: In Las Vegas:

Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner:
+ 1 415 307 3382

Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner:
+ 44 (0) 7801 212 992

Daniel Kessler, Greenpeace USA Media Officer:
+ 1 970 690 2728

In Europe:

Tom Dowdall, Greenpeace International Toxic Technology Campaign Coordinator:
+ 31 (0) 621 296 892

Matilda Bradshaw, Greenpeace International Communications:
+31 (0) 646 197 334

For B-rolls, VNRs or stills images of electronic waste yards in India, Pakistan, China or Africa please contact:
Photos: John Novis + 44 (0) 7801 615 889

Video: Lucy Campbell-Jackson +31 (0) 634 738 790

Notes: (1) The Greenpeace report is available at:

(2) Criteria questions focused on the following areas: toxic chemical phase out, energy efficiency, product lifespan and energy used in production, with additional points given for unique innovation.

(3) Companies that chose to participate in the survey were: Acer, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, RIM/Blackberry, Sharp, Samsung, Sony, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba. The companies that refused to take part in the survey were: Apple, Asus, Microsoft, Nintendo, Palm, Philips. Only Sony submitted game consoles for review.

(4) The previous survey, available at revealed that products were far from green, with only a few scores barely reaching a total score of 5 out of 10. This year's scores were higher, but no products exceeded a score of 7 out of 10.

On Friday 9th January, Greenpeace will hold a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to present the new survey in more detail. Please contact Daniel Kessler for more information.

Greenpeace News Story Online

Follow Greenpeace at CES on Twitter

Exp. contact date: 2009-03-01 00:00:00