The latest survey of greener electronics products has revealed that the greenest consumer electronic products on the market today may have a smaller environmental footprint than those sold a year ago, but the industry still has a way to go before they can claim a truly green product.
To design truly green electronics, companies need to shift away from limited lifespan and towards long-living upgradeable goods.
Our second greener products survey, "
Green Electronics: the search continues" assesses the
progress made over the last year by consumer electronic companies
on their commitments to green their products. Fifteen major
electronics brands submitted 50 of their most environmentally
friendly new products - mobile and smart phones, televisions,
computer monitors, notebook and desktop computers, and game
consoles for evaluation. The survey assesses the products on their
use of hazardous chemicals, energy efficiency, overall product
lifecycle (ability to be recycled and upgraded) and other factors
such as the promotion of environmental friendliness and
The green news
This year's survey had companies scoring higher and more
competitively than last year. We found that fewer products on the
market contain PVC plastic and that fewer hazardous chemicals are
being used in products in general. LED displays, which save energy
and avoid the use of mercury in backlights, can be found in more
products today and manufacturers are using more post-consumer
recycled plastic in TVs and monitors. Most companies have
established better voluntary take-back and recycling programs and
adapted quickly to the new requirements of Energy Star. But not
everyone was happy to have their products evaluated. Companies that
were asked but declined to submit products were: Apple, Asus,
Microsoft, Nintendo, Palm and Philips.
The Lenovo L2440x wide computer monitor scored highest with 6.9
points (on a 10-point scale) and is far ahead of the competition in
the monitor category. Other product category leaders include the
Sharp LC-52GX5 television (5.92), the Samsung F268 mobile phone
(5.45), the Nokia 6210 Smart phone (5.2) the Toshiba Portege R600
Notebook (5.57) and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M58 Desktop (5.88).
However no product scored high enough across all areas to
deserve the accolade of a truly 'green product'. Unfortunately, if
you are in the market for a new electronics product it's still a
choice between a product that is green in one area but not in
another. To show we is possible right now if all current green
innovations were combined we took the top scores of each product
category to make a composite score for the industry. These 'best
practice' scores, ranging as high as 8.6, demonstrate that there is
environmental know-how available now to produce electronics that
are significantly greener than anything on the shelves today.
The electronics industry is heading in the right direction. To
stay in the race to a green product, every company needs to put its
foot on the accelerator. It's time to take the progress made with
their greenest products and apply that standard across the board to
all of its product lines. A few expensive niche products is not
electronics industry is one of the most innovative industry on the
It's time these companies step up and give the green
gadgets we are all looking for.
This week, electronics companies will
gather at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada to
introduce their latest products.
Want to know more? Our team at the CES is twittering and
blogging as we present the new survey and check out the latest