We just released a new version of the Guide to Greener Electronics, which this time ranks 15 gadget and electronics companies on energy, greener products and sustainable operations. HP takes the lead at 5.9 out of a possible 10 points, followed by Dell, Nokia and Apple.
HP is in top position because it scores strongly for measuring and reducing carbon emissions from its supply chain, reducing its own emissions and advocating for strong climate legislation (HP report card).
Dell takes second position in the Guide after making a dramatic improvement from tenth position in the last version. The PC maker scores well for having the most ambitious climate target, with a plan to reduce its emissions by 40 percent by 2015, and a strong policy on sustainable paper sourcing (Dell report card).
Unfortunately, RIM's first report card shows plenty of room for improvement. The company behind Blackberry smartphones came in last among companies surveyed. That said, the Canadian company does score well on the important conflict minerals issue and sustainable paper policy.
Electronics, such as computers, TVs and mobile phones are both resource and energy intensive to produce. That's why the Guide’s new Energy section focuses on how companies can lead the way by reducing their own energy use and using their influence in support of clean energy legislation.
Cloud computing firms like Facebook aren't ranked here, though they're certainly part of the story. Their increasing energy use for data centres is why we are also campaigning for them to quit using dirty energy and be climate leaders too.
The Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics has prompted improvements within the electronics industry, such as phasing out hazardous substances like PVC and Brominated flame retardants from their products. In its sixth year, it is now part of Greenpeace’s wider Cool IT campaign to persuade IT industry leaders to become climate action leaders too.
Nokia has slipped from first place to third, after holding the top position for as many years. The Finnish phone maker can still steal back the top spot on environmental issues, but it needs to demonstrate how it will reduce future emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy use (Nokia report card).
Shoppers are increasingly concerned about the impact of what they buy, and they're getting better at spotting corporate greenwash and spin too. After many of the world’s leading electronics companies rose to the challenge of phasing out the worst hazardous substances, we are now challenging them to improve their sourcing of minerals and better managing energy use throughout their supply chain.
With enough public pressure, who's to say we can't make the electronics industry become truly sustainable?