A pile of e-waste at CeBit 2008.
We conducted a
survey of the main brands of desktop PCs and notebooks, mobile
phones, and Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs), assessing them on
their use of hazardous chemicals, energy efficiency, overall
product lifecycle (recyclability and upgradeability) and other
factors such as the promotion of environmental friendliness and
Check out the e-waste video
We contacted market leaders and invited them to submit their
most environmentally-friendly products currently available. In
addition, we placed ads in trade magazines and on websites
encouraging other producers to participate. Each company could
submit a maximum of three products in each of the product
Thirty-seven products were assessed, from fourteen major
electronics brands who agreed to provide information for the survey
at the end of 2007. The companies submitted information on their
most environmentally-friendly products. Sony Vaio TZ11 notebook,
the Sony Ericsson T650i mobile phone and the Sony Ericsson P1i PDA
came out top.
The best rated desktop came from Dell (Optiplex 755) and HP
(dc5750) but these and other mobile phones, laptops and PDAs didn't
score above 5/10.
Our survey was based on voluntary participation by companies
willing to submit their products to our critical evaluation.
Unfortunately, not all the companies we invited agreed to
participate, and in the game consoles category in particular we
received either no submissions at all or they came too late to be
included. Non-responders included: Acer, Apple, Microsoft, Nintendo
Since submissions closed, several companies have launched
products that showcase new environmental innovations. Nokia's
Evolve phone uses more recycled plastic and has a highly efficient
charger. Apple's Mac Book Air eliminates the use of toxic mercury
and arsenic to raise the bar on toxics reduction.
Because the electronics industry is moving fast we are at the
world's biggest IT fair - CeBIT in Germany, to check out which
companies and products are on the cutting edge of environmental
innovation. Our experts will be investigating the facts behind the
hype and highlighting the leaders and showing up any superficial
green claims. Check out the updates on green innovations at
Our survey also reveals that while no individual product could
yet lay claim to being truly green, there are plenty of individual
innovations by different companies in toxics reduction, energy
efficiency, longer lifecycles and recycling. The key to making a
comprehensively greener product is combining innovation in each of
We will continue to challenge electronics manufacturers to take
responsibility for the entire lifecycle of their products - from
production, through manufacture and to the very end of their
products' lives - and to clean up their products by eliminating
hazardous substances and replacing harmful ingredients through
safer alternatives or design changes while producing energy
Manufacturers need to embrace a truly comprehensive approach.
Consumers should not have to choose between a toxic free product or
an energy-efficient one. They should not need to ask if being
recyclable is better than being durable.
When a product offers all those standards and is marketed with
consumer-friendly services extending the lifespan as much as
possible, then we can say there is a true green electronics product
on the market.
Read the full '
Searching for Greener Electronics' survey and where companies
stand in our
Guide to Greener Electronics that ranks companies overall
policies and practice.
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