How Acer scored in our Greener Electronics Guide

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Feature Story - 2011-11-08
Do you own any Acer products, or planning to buy any? The company recently landed themselves on Greenpeace's 'Greener Electronics Guide'. Greenpeace's Guide ranks electronics companies on their environmental performance in three areas: use of green energy, how green their products are, and how green their manufacturing processes. Take a look at how Acer fared.

Greener Electronics Guide

Acer, Taiwan.
Ranking: 12
Score: 2.9/10

Acer takes 12th position in the re-launched Guide with a score of 2.9. It is weakest on the Energy criteria, scoring nothing for its objectives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as although Acer intended to set these targets in 2010, this has not been done. Acer has drawn up an "energy reduction policy" with five major directions, including increasing energy efficiency and the purchase of carbon credits for renewable energy; it reports on energy efficiency savings. It supports cuts of 30 percent by 2020 from industrialised countries but needs to set some ambitious targets of its own, to reduce GHG emissions by at least 30 percent by 2015 for its operations and to dramatically increase renewable electricity use by 2020. It also does not provide external verification for the GHG emissions that it reports for its operations and business travel.

It does not do much better on Products; it scores no points on product life cycle and needs to publicly disclose the length of warranty and spare parts availability for its main product lines.  However, it does report on the use of post- consumer recycled plastic in monitor casings of seven families of EPEAT Gold models. It has also launched many new models of products that are free from polyvinyl chloride plastic (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and it has informed Greenpeace that the majority of its products will be PVC/BFR free in the near future. A higher percentage of its products need to meet or exceed the latest Energy Star standards in order for it to score more points on product energy efficiency. 

It scores most of its points on Sustainable Operations, doing particularly well on chemicals management for its lobbying for restrictions on organo-halogens and for its precautionary approach to chemicals, although it does need to update its chemicals management systems and make them more thorough. Acer scores well for reporting on emissions of GHGs from its first tier suppliers and is investigating the second tier; Acer's programme includes auditing and reduction targets. It publishes the results of a survey it did of its suppliers on use of conflict minerals but does not yet provide a map of its smelters or suppliers.  It fails to score on paper sourcing as it doesn't specify the need to source FSC paper or aim to avoid the use of fibres from illegal logging or deforestation. 

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