In a test of environmental compatibility, some of the world’s biggest electronics companies have failed miserably. Scores were based on just two subjects: chemical toxicity and recycling aptitude.
In this test, high levels of toxic chemicals in electronics
products means more than a failing grade for the company, it
represents serious health and environmental hazards to children in
the developing world who take these products apart for scraps.
Toxic ingredients like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and
brominated flame retardants (BFRs) don't improve the quality of
electronic performance, but exposure to them can cause a series of
health threats throughout the life cycle of the product.
Recycling and Take Back Programs
The growing popularity of electronic technology and changing
trends have resulted in massive quantities of discarded products
that often end up in scrap yards in the developing world. We graded
the leading technology companies on their policies for taking back
and reusing or recycling their own-brand discarded products.
So who was at the head of the class and who failed?
While none of these companies passed our test with flying
colors, Nokia and Dell lead the pack with positive steps toward
eliminating toxics and implementing take back programs. Apple isn't
charming any teachers these days. With a bushel of toxic chemicals
and a poor recycling program, the company received a failing grade.
Acer, Motorola, and Lenovo flunked the test entirely.
- Sony Ericsson
- LG Electronics
- Fujitsu Siemens Computers
See the Test Results
A Formula for Success
Every quarter, we'll release a new report card to keep these
companies on their toes. To graduate from our school of
environmentally-friendly electronics, the requirements are simple
- Set a clear timeline to remove all toxic chemicals from
electronic production and products.
- Develop a clear take back policy and recycling program.
Do your homework
Download the full report card to see how your favorite gadgets