It's been just 5 months since we released our first report card on the world's leading electronic companies, grading their use of toxic chemicals in popular products like computers and cell phones. Already, many of the companies are in a race to reach the head of the class - that is, except for Apple, who seems determined to remain behind rather than be the teacher's pet we'd hoped for. Instead, companies like Acer and Lenovo have leap-frogged the competition, becoming the latest top computer makers to commit to stop using the worst toxic chemicals in their products. Along with Motorola, these companies are the biggest movers in the latest version of our Guide to Greener Electronics.
Our guide ranks the 14 top manufacturers of PC's and mobile
phones on toxic chemicals and recycling policies. The public
ranking has been successful in spurring many of the companies to
improve their policies.
"We are witnessing a global shift towards greener PCs, with Acer
and Lenovo, two major producers of PCs, committing to eliminate the
use of the most hazardous chemicals from their products range,"
said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner,
"Most companies now score above average points on the ranking
guide, with only five companies failing to score even the average
of five points.
The ranking is important because the amounts of toxic e-waste is
growing everyday, and it often ends up dumped in the developing
world. Reducing the toxic chemicals in products reduces pollution
from old products and makes recycling safer, easier, and cheaper.
Companies with good recycling schemes help ensure that their
products don't end up in the e-waste yards of Asia.
Nokia continues to hold the top spot in the ranking, with
progressive policies on both, its chemicals policy as well as
disposal of electronic waste. However, the company is yet to
outline clear timelines for phasing out the toxic plastic PVC
(vinyl) in all of its products.
Motorola has been the fastest mover in the ranking guide. From
second worst in the first version of the guide, it has made strong
commitments, and moved up to fourth place. Lenovo has also made
strong policy commitments, to jump from the bottom to 8th place.
Fujitsu-Siemens and Acer made substantial progress and are now
ranked 3rd and 7th respectively, moving up from their earlier 10th
and 12th positions.
Must do better
Apple has made no improvements in its policies and is now at the
bottom of the ranking. While its competition continues to improve,
the world leader in innovation and design is falling further and
We'd expect an innovative company who takes pride in 'thinking
different' to be at the top of the ranking - so we've launched the
Green my Apple campaign where Mac fans can send a clear message to
Apple - we love our Mac, but we wish it came in green.
LGE, Samsug, and Sony have lost points for failing to act on
their commitments to take responsibility for thier waste; instead,
the companies are supporting regulation that would place the
responsibility for product recycling on consumers instead of
In September 2006, HP had one point deducted from its overall
score when analysis of an HP laptop revealed the presence of a type
of toxic chemical that HP claimed it no longer used. HP was quick
to respond and investigated the matter and has now released a
statement on its website, so the penalty point has been lifted.
By turning the public spotlight on top electronics companies and
challenging them to outrank their competition, the guide has
succeeded in motivating many companies to improve their policies on
chemicals and waste. Surely it's just a matter of time until Apple
responds to calls from its own fans, and leaps to the top of the