How the companies line up 15th Edition

Background - October 25, 2010
This is an archive of our ranking guide from May 2010. The Guide to Greener Electronics ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. We first released our green IT guide in August 2006.

Please note: This is a previous edition of our ranking. Click here for the latest edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics

Nokia
Nokia7.5
15th Edition, May 2010

Nokia stays in 1st place with a slightly increased score of 7.5, up from 7.3. It gains points for achieving its goal of phasing out brominated compounds, chlorinated flame retardants and antimony trioxide in all new models of products and for its CEO’s statement in support of 30% cuts in greenhouse gas emissions in industrialised countries by 2020. However, despite Nokia’s support for further restrictions for chlorinated and brominated substances in legislation, it loses a point on its position on the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics) Directive, as it does not openly support restrictions on at least PVC vinyl plastic, chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in the next 3-5 years i.e. in RoHS 2.0.

Nokia background | Nokia report PDF

Sony Ericsson
Sony Ericsson6.9
15th Edition, May 2010

Sony Ericsson remains in 2nd place, with the same score of 6.9. It is the best performer on the toxic chemicals criteria of all the ranked brands, being the first to score full marks on all chemicals criteria. It also does well on energy.

All Sony Ericsson products are already free from PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), with the exception of a few components that are still being phased out. Sony Ericsson has already met the challenge of the new criterion on chemicals by banning antimony, beryllium and phthalates from new models launched since January 2008. Moreover, Sony Ericsson is one of only two companies so far (the other is Acer) that is proactively lobbying in the EU for the revision of the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics) Directive to adopt a 3 to 5 year timeline for further restrictions on organo-chlorine and bromine substances.

Sony Ericsson background | Sony Ericsson report PDF

Philips
Philips5.1
15th Edition, May 2010

Philips moves up to 3rd place from 4th with a reduced score of 5.1, as a result of other companies moving down the ranking.

Philips scores well on toxic chemical issues; it has committed to eliminating PVC vinyl plastic and all brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in all its new product models by the end of 2010, and six types of phthalates and antimony by 31 December 2010. Beryllium and its compounds are already restricted; arsenic has been eliminated from TV glass and other display products from 2008. Philips has had TVs with PVC/BFR-free housings on the market (EU market only so far) for nearly 2 years, with little progress during this time, other than adding PVC/BFR-free Senseo and oral healthcare products and a PVC-free remote control, but these are insufficient to score one point (doubled). It also fails to support the need for the RoHS 2.0 Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics, currently being revised) to adopt an end-of-life focussed methodology for adding new substances and an immediate ban on organo-chlorine and bromine compounds.

Philips background | Philips report PDF

Motorola
Motorola5.1
15th Edition, May 2010

Motorola rises from 7th place to 4th, with the same score of 5.1, as a result of other companies dropping down the ranking.

Motorola scores relatively well on the chemicals criteria and has a goal to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), though only in mobile devices and not all its products introduced after 2010, despite the fact that Sony Ericsson and Nokia are already there. All of its mobile phones are now PVC-free and it has one PVC and BFR-free mobile phone, the A45 ECO and a couple of models of chargers; for more points Motorola needs to complete the phase out of BFRs in mobile phones and start working on the phase out of PVC and BFRs in its other products. It also fails to support the need for RoHS 2.0 (EU Directive on the Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics, currently being revised) to adopt an end-of-life focussed methodology for adding new substances and an immediate ban on organo-chlorine and bromine compounds. Motorola needs to clarify its stance regarding the position of the trade federation TechAmerica on further restrictions and in particular PVC, chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) and (BFRs) within 3-5 years.

Motorola background | Motorola report PDF

Apple
Apple4.9
15th Edition, May 2010

Apple remains in 5th place, with a slightly reduced score of 4.9, down from 5.1 points in version 14. It loses a point for lack of transparency in its reporting on its use of renewable energy.

Apple does best on the toxic chemicals criteria, where it scores most of its points. All Apple products are now free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), with the exception of PVC-free power cords in countries where their safety certification process is still ongoing. For this Apple continues to score full marks (doubled). Apple scores points for its chemicals policy informed by the precautionary principle and for lobbying the EU institutions for a ban on PVC, chlorinated flame retardants and BFRs during the current revision of the EU’s RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics), but for full marks it needs to provide a public position on its support for immediate restrictions in RoHS 2.0 on organo- chlorine and bromine compounds. It also needs to clarify its stance regarding the position of the trade federation TechAmerica on further immediate restrictions and in particular PVC and BFRs. Apple scores only one point on information about its management of chemicals and its supply chain communications; this criterion evaluates disclosure of information flow in the supply chain. Apple also continues to score poorly for the minimal information it provides about its future toxic chemical phase-out plans.

Apple background | Apple report PDF

Panasonic
Panasonic4.9
15th Edition, May 2010

Panasonic moves up to 6th place from 10th with the same score. Its climb up the ranking is due to the drop in scores of other companies, rather than in improvements in its own performance. It scores best on the energy criteria and is weakest on those relating to e-waste and recycling.

Panasonic’s score on use of toxic chemicals is boosted by many models of PVC-free products on the market, including DVD players and recorders, home cinemas, video players and lighting equipment. Panasonic gives two examples of products free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) – fluorescent ceiling lamps and a kitchen lamp. Despite putting these PVC-free and BFR-free products on the market, Panasonic has yet to commit to fully eliminating all PVC and BFRs across its whole product portfolio. It also fails to show support for improvements to the revised EU RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics); specifically, a methodology for further restrictions of hazardous substances, and an immediate ban on BFRs, chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) and PVC vinyl plastic.

Panasonic background | Panasonic report PDF

Sony
Sony4.9
15th Edition, May 2010

Sony moves up from 7th place to joint 6th, tying with Panasonic with the same overall score of 4.9, down from 5.1. Sony loses points for failing to expand its take-back programme to non-OECD countries and for providing verification for its CSR report rather than specifically for its calculations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, it gains a further point for reporting absolute cuts in GHG emissions, down 17 percent over the 8 year period 2000-2008 and a commitment to an absolute reduction of 30% over 2001 levels by 2016.

Sony does relatively well on chemicals, with its score boosted by having models on the market that are partially free of PVC and BFRs, including all models of the VAIO PC, and many models of video recorder, Walkman, camcorder and digital camera. It still needs to set a timeline for eliminating all phthalates, beryllium copper and antimony and its compounds. Sony has yet to show support for bans on PVC vinyl plastic and brominated/chlorinated flame retardants (BFRs/CFRs) during the revision of the EU’s RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics).

Sony background | Sony report PDF

HP
HP4.9
15th Edition, May 2010

HP climbs to 8th place from 11th with an increased score of 4.9 (up from 4.7), due to support for improvements to the revised EU RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics); specifically, to adopt restrictions on PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) as a focus for the restriction of chlorine and bromine from electrical and electronic products. HP believes restrictions of PVC and BFRs in RoHS may be possible in 2015 as long as specific issues and exemptions are addressed.

HP now has several PVC and BFR free products on the market, including a desktop PC, a series of notebooks and two LCD monitors, to add to the notebook that HP released in September 2009 for business customers (with a cost-neutral option of a PVC and BFR-free configuration, except for the power supply and power cable). HP could improve its score on chemicals by committing to eliminate additional harmful substances and putting more products (including printers) free of PVC and BFRs on the market.

HP background | HP report PDF

Sharp
Sharp4.5
15th Edition, May 2010

Sharp rises to 9th place from 13th with the same score of 4.5 points, as a result of other companies dropping down the ranking. Sharp gains points on the energy efficiency of its products but loses them on two other criteria; the verification of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is for its CSR report rather than specifically for calculation of GHG emissions; and its score for Chemicals Management is further reduced as its Manual for Survey of Chemical Substances Contained in Parts and Materials is no longer available to the public. Its new ‘Green Procurement Guidelines’ are more confusing about eliminating BFRs than the earlier version and the ‘List of Substances’ document no longer presents criteria for identifying future substances for elimination.

Sharp background | Sharp report PDF

Dell
Dell4.3
15th Edition, May 2010

Dell increases its score to 4.3, moving up to 10th position from 14th. Dell continues to be hampered by the penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in all its products by the end of 2009.

Dell gains a point for supporting restrictions on PVC and BFRs in the revised EU RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics) and now needs to demonstrate proactive advocacy for full marks. However, it loses a point as its new commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs by the end of 2011 is limited to computing products. On other chemicals criteria, the company earns points for putting on the market the G-Series Monitors, its first completely PVC and BFR-free products, although PVC and BFR-free cables are currently available only in North America, Japan, Europe/Middle East and Africa. Dell has over 30 products with reduced amounts of PVC/BFRs, including two recently released laptops, the Latitude Z and XPS 13. The company has no PVC/BFRs-free computers, but have PVC/BFRs-free monitors (G-Series) and the Mini 3i mobile phone, sold only in China.

Dell background | Dell report PDF

Acer
Acer4.1
15th Edition, May 2010

Acer rises from 12th to 11th place, with a reduced score of 4.1 points. Acer loses points as its new plan to phase out PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) is for personal and mobile computing products by 2011 rather than for all products.

Acer scores most points for its efforts on toxic chemicals. It is proactively supporting improvements to the revised EU RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics); specifically, a methodology for further restrictions of hazardous substances, and an immediate ban on BFRs, chlorinated flame retardants (CFRs) and PVC, for which it scores maximum points. Acer also scores points for putting on the market 16 models of monitors with many parts that are almost free of PVC and BFRs, except for the power cord. In the last three versions of the ranking, the company has not been penalised for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs in all products by the end of 2009; as assurance that this timeline will be met, Acer launched four new PVC and BFR-free models of notebook in January 2010 and is due to launch more products shortly. Acer now needs to transition all its products to using no BFRs and PVC. The company is also rewarded for its commitment to phase out all phthalates, beryllium and compounds and antimony and compounds in all new products by 2012.

Acer background | Acer report PDF

LG Electronics
LG Electronics3.7
15th Edition, May 2010

LG Electronics falls from 6th to 12th place, with its score dropping from 5.1 points to 3.7. It loses most of its points on the energy efficiency of its products, for making false claims about the energy performance of its white goods in both the US and Australia; its compliance with the Energy Star standard for its chargers, PCs and TVs previously earned maximum points on this criterion. It also continues to be weighed down by the penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to have all its products free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by the end of 2010. Now only mobile phones will be free of these toxic substances from 2010; TVs, monitors and PCs have to wait until 2012 and household appliance models until 2014; LGE loses a further point for a lack of evidence on how this programme will be implemented. LGE has launched its first mobile phone that is free from PVC and BFRs and has six models of 'halogen-free' Optical Disk Drives.

LG Electronics background | LG Electronics report PDF

Samsung
Samsung3.7
15th Edition, May 2010

Samsung is in free fall, dropping from joint 7th to 13th place, as a result of TWO penalty points. The first penalty was imposed in v.14 of the Guide for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in new models of all products by January 2010 and PVC vinyl plastic by end of 2010. The second penalty point is for misleading its customers and Greenpeace by not admitting that it would not meet its public commitment until the timeline for that commitment had passed.

Samsung background | Samsung report PDF

Toshiba
Toshiba3.5
15th Edition, May 2010

Toshiba drops dramatically from 3rd place to 14th, due to the penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to bring to market new models of all its consumer electronics products free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by 1 April 2010, its own timeline for meeting this commitment. It also loses points for failing to provide a new timeline, which means there is no longer a commitment to eliminate these harmful substances and for its lack of a third party verification certificate for its calculations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; the verification that Toshiba provides is for CSR reporting.

Despite the lost points for failing to renew its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs, Toshiba is strongest on the chemicals criteria, scoring points for its Portege 600 series of PCs, which it describes as having “a PVC-free design”, excluding the AC adapter for markets outside Japan, but plastic moulded parts under 10g still contain BFRs. It also markets mobile phones with reduced PVC and BFRs, and EcoMark-certified products without PVC. Toshiba launched a TV (model 55X1) in December 2009 that has no BFRs in the cabinet and no PVC/BFRs in the main control circuit board. Toshiba has also committed to introduce alternatives to phthalates, beryllium and antimony by 2012 in all its products.

Toshiba background | Toshiba report PDF

Fujitsu
Fujitsu3.5
15th Edition, May 2010

Fujitsu remains in 15th place, with the same score of 3.5 points. Fujitsu gains a point for adopting the precautionary principle to inform its chemical policy, but loses a point as the certificate of third party verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is in fact for reporting in its sustainability report and not specifically for its calculation of GHG emissions.

Fujitsu scores equal points on toxic chemicals and energy issues. It is rewarded for supporting the need for GHG emissions to peak by 2015 and for industrialised countries to cut GHG emissions by up to 30 percent. It also gains points for reporting that 100 percent of its notebook and tablet PCs released globally comply with the latest Energy Star standard. Fujitsu reports GHG emissions from its own operations for 2008, which have reduced from 2007, but these are not externally verified. It fails to score any points on renewable energy use providing figures only for Europe, where at least 15 percent of purchased electricity was renewable in 2007. Fujitsu has no commitment to reduce absolute GHG emissions.

Fujitsu background | Fujitsu report PDF

Microsoft
Microsoft3.3
15th Edition, May 2010

Microsoft rises to 16th place from 17th, with an increased score of 3.3 points, up from 2.4. It gains most of its points on energy, for supporting mandatory cuts in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and for providing external verification for its own GHG emissions; it is no longer scored on the energy efficiency of its products as there is still no Energy Star standard for games consoles. It also gains points on e-waste, for providing better information to its customers on take-back of obsolete products and for reporting on the recycling of its e-waste. However, it loses a point on chemicals management as despite being committed to phase out PVC vinyl plastic, this information is not communicated to its suppliers in its Restricted Substances for Hardware specification.

Microsoft background | Microsoft report PDF

Lenovo
Lenovo1.9
15th Edition, May 2010

Lenovo drops a place from 16th to 17th position, with a reduced score of 1.9, down from of 2.5 points. It remains encumbered by a penalty point imposed for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in all its products by the end of 2009. It loses an additional point on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs, as progress is slow and there is no evidence to suggest that the 2011 timeline for removing these substances in all new models of products will be met. Lenovo also loses points on the energy efficiency of its PCs, as the information provided is only for its 'Think' branded products and is presented in a way that makes it impossible to compare with the performance of other companies.

Lenovo background | Lenovo report PDF

Nintendo
Nintendo1.8
15th Edition, May 2010

Nintendo remains in last place but has increased its score to 1.8 out of 10, up from 1.4. It gains points for adopting the precautionary principle in its approach to managing chemical substances and for publishing its Standards for chemicals management.

Nintendo scores most points on chemicals; it has put games consoles on the market that have PVC-free internal wiring. It has banned phthalates and is monitoring use of antimony and beryllium. Although it is endeavouring to eliminate the use of PVC, it has not set a timeline for its phase-out.

It continues to score zero on all e-waste criteria.

It scores points on energy criteria, for the energy efficiency of its low power AC adaptor for the Nintendo DSi, which meets the requirements for external power supplies in the Energy Star programme. It also retains a point on energy for disclosing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its own operations. However, it fails to score for its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, due to a second year of increases, despite a commitment to cut CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases by 2 percent over each previous year. Emissions in 2007 increased by 1.5 percent compared to 2006, following a rise of 6 percent in 2006.

Nintendo background | Nintendo report PDF

Ranking criteria explained

The ranking criteria reflect the demands of the Toxic Tech campaign to the electronics companies. Our three demands are that companies should:

  • Clean up their products by eliminating hazardous substances.
  • Take back and recycle their products responsibly once they become obsolete.
  • Reduce the climate impacts of their operations and products.

The use of harmful chemicals in electronics prevents their safe recycling when the products are discarded. Companies scored marks out of 51 this has then been calculated to a mark out of 10 for simplicity.

Follow the 'Read full report' link beside each company for the full details of their score. Click on the company name to see how well the company did over the past. The full criteria for scoring the companies is available. Download the full pdf of the score card.

Each score is based solely on public information on the companies website. Companies found not to be following their published policies will be deducted penalty point in future versions of the guide.

The guide is updated every few months. The current edition was published on May 26, 2010.

For more detailed explanation check our Q&A about the Guide to Greener Electronics.

Disclaimer:

Our 'Guide to Greener Electronics' aims to clean up the electronics sector and get manufacturers to take responsibility for the full life cycle of their products, including the electronic waste that their products generate. The guide does not rank companies on labour standards, mining, or any other issues, but recognises that these are important in the production and use of electronics products. For more on the social impacts of the electronics industry visit Good Electronics and Make IT Fair.

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