In the fourth issue of the Guide, Nokia regained the lead, with Dell and Lenovo tying for second place, followed by Sony-Ericsson and Samsung. Apple made the biggest jump from last to 10th place while Sony is the biggest loser in the race, languishing at the bottom of the ranking along with LG, both penalized for 'double standards' on their waste policies.
By ranking companies on their harmful chemicals and waste policies, the latest ranking shows that nine of the fourteen companies assessed have scored between 5 and 7 out of ten.
"Clearly, companies are racing to produce greener products" said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner. "Steve Job's latest commitment to eliminate toxics materials, moved Apple up the chart and they now face a challenge, with the iPhone, to meet customer expectations to be the environmental leader Apple-lovers want."
More and more companies are providing information on products that are free from the worst chemicals. For example, as of March 2007, Panasonic had many examples of 100% PVC-free products on the market, including DVD players and recorders, home cinemas, video players, and now provides a list of products that are PVC-free. (4) Meanwhile, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and to some extent Motorola are introducing increasing numbers of models that are also free from PVC and brominated flame retardants.
The Greenpeace Guide clearly demonstrates that companies are starting to act on their responsibility for taking back and recycling their own-branded waste, providing more and more extensive voluntary programmes and informing customers on what to do with discarded electronics.
"Leading computer manufacturers are now going public with their recycling percentage (5), and this transparency is putting the whole sector under the spotlight, pressuring others to measure their recycling performance and likewise go public. We are clearly witnessing steps towards a greener electronics industry" concluded Kruszewska.
1. Link to the latest edition of Guide to Greener Electronics.
2. Sony and LG Electronics have been penalised for practising double standards on their regional and national policies for recycling their own-branded products. While both companies support Individual Producer Responsibility elsewhere in the world, in the United States they are part of a coalition opposing producer responsibility laws and calling for consumers, instead of producers, to pay for the recycling of e-waste. Electronic Manufacturers’ Coalition for Responsible Recycling at: www.productstewardship.net/PDFs/libraryElectronicsARFCoalitionWhitePaper03-2005.pdf
3. Greenpeace on Jobs' statemetn: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/news/features/tasty-apple-news-020507/
4. See http://www.panasonic.net/eco/gp/chemical.html for more information.
5. Dell reports a recycling rate of 12% of its past sale; while HP reports 10%; Apple 9.5%, and Motorola 3.32%., while Lenovo’s rate is based on weight on weight of shipment and its figures vary depending on the year of sales data from 0.72% for 2006 and 8.8% for 1998.