How LGE scored in our Greener Electronics Guide

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Feature Story - 2011-11-08
Do you own any LGE 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 LGE fared.

Greener Electronics Guide

LGE, South Korea.
Ranking: 13
Score: 2.8/10

LGE scores 2.8 points and takes joint 13th place on our re-launched Guide, together with Toshiba. It benefits from having a penalty point lifted, imposed for backtracking on its commitment to have all its products free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by the end of 2010. All of LGE's mobile phones are now free from PVC and BFRs as well as phthalates, antimony trioxide and beryllium oxide; other products such as TVs and notebooks have many PVC/BFR free parts and LGE aims to phase these substances out from TVs monitors and PCs by 2012 and household appliances by 2014. On other Products categories LGE scores best for its product energy efficiency; it regains points that it lost in the last edition by making a strong statement in support of more stringent Energy Star verification standards. LGE reports on the quantities of post-consumer plastics that it uses and gives an example of a product with recycled content, but does not have a target to increase its use of recycled plastics. It does not yet score on the product life cycle category, as there is no information on product warranties or replacement parts availability.

It scores least points on the Energy criteria; it sets an weak target of 10 percent reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its operations by 2020 which needs to be at least 30 percent by 2015. It has achieved a yearly GHG gas reduction of approximately 20,000 tons through various energy efficiency measures; however, although it has plans to increase its use of renewable energy this is not part of its low carbon strategy. It needs an ambitious target to dramatically increase renewable electricity use by 2020 and a strategy to implement this. It earns a point for its support for mandatory cuts of at least 30 percent in industrialised countries by 2020. LGE also reports on its GHG emissions for its operations and business travel but although it has verification for its emissions in Korea, it is still awaiting verification for its global emissions.

It earns most of its points on Sustainable Operations. It provides take-back in 52 countries for obsolete mobile phones, (although this page is no longer accessible from its main take-back pages), but needs to continue to expand its programme for all its products in non-OECD countries. LGE no longer reports its recycling rates as a percentage of past sales. Its policy on chemicals is based on the precautionary principle and its communication with its suppliers on chemicals management reflects its hazardous substance phase out plans. LGE does not yet publish data on GHG emissions from its supply chain but has begun to work with suppliers to gather this information. LGE is engaged in the process to address conflict minerals but has not publicly mapped smelters or suppliers and does not yet have a policy. It scores no points for paper sourcing and risks a penalty point in future Guide editions as it is listed as a client of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP), which is responsible for illegal logging and deforestation in Indonesia. LGE should immediately and publicly commit to stop sourcing any paper or packaging needs from APP.

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