In our latest ranking of electronic manufacturers' recycling and
toxic content policies, we've seen one of the best outcomes yet.
The guide looks more like a roller coaster ride than a ranking, as
many companies scramble to reach the top and improve their green
policies. Michael Dell has challenged the entire industry to adopt
a worldwide takeback policy (something we put on our wish list to
Dell when the campaign first started), and several companies have
met and even exceeded our demands. We've even gotten phone calls
from manufacturers asking when, exactly, new policies needed to be
adopted in order to be reflected in the next ranking.
Competitive pressure, an ongoing dialogue with Greenpeace
campaigners, and consumer expectations have driven an improvement
in companies' scores since the last edition of the Guide, with nine
out of 14 companies now scoring more than five out of 10
In our newest ranking, Chinese PC maker Lenovo has snatched the
top position, displacing Nokia from the lead it had maintained
since the Guide was launched. Sony and LG Electronics received
penalty points for operating double standards on their e-waste
takeback policies across the world, losing their places in the top
five, while Apple, having made no progress since the launch of the
Guide in August 2006, continues to languish in last place, far
behind all other major manufacturers. (Are you a surprised and
disappointed Apple user? We are too. So tell Steve Jobs that you'd
like a green
"Given the growing mountains of e-waste in China - both imported
and domestically generated - it is heartening to see a Chinese
company taking the lead, and assuming responsibility at least for
its own branded waste," said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace
International Toxics Campaigner, "The challenge for the industry
now is to see who will actually place greener products on the
Lenovo, which bought IBM's consumer electronics division in
2005, scores top marks on its e-waste policies and practice; the
company offers take-back and recycling in all the countries where
its products are sold. Lenovo also reports the amount of e-waste it recycles as a
percentage of its sales. However, the company has yet to put
products free of the worst chemicals on the market.
Other companies in the top five include Nokia (2nd), Sony
Ericsson (3rd) Dell (4th) and Samsung (5th).
Sony Ericsson has moved back up the guide (they were 5th in
December 2006) and is the first company to set a timeline of
January 1, 2008 for eliminating substances such as phthalates,
beryllium and some uses of antimony compounds.
Sony and LG Electronics have been penalized for their double
standards on policies for recycling their own-branded products.
While both companies support Individual Producer Responsibility
elsewhere in the world, here in the U.S. 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.
We expect companies to have consistent global policies and treat
all their customers equally.
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