Nokia bounces back to the top spot; HCL and Wipro look progressive in the Greener Electronics Ranking

Press release - September 16, 2008
BANGALORE, India — From the penalty position, Nokia bounced back to the top spot (1) due to its improved take-back practice in India in the latest version of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics. Wipro and HCL continue to proactively move towards cleaner and greener production. However, Zenith slips to the bottom in the ranking with an ‘all nil’ because of its withdrawal of information from the company website (2).

The Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics ranks leading mobile phone, game console, TV and PC manufacturers on their global policies and practices on eliminating harmful chemicals, taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers and their impact on the climate.

According to the guide, five leading brands - Nokia, Samsung, FSC, Sony Ericsson and Sony -  are making significant progress in greening their electronics products. HCL continues to maintain its top position among Indian brands closely followed by Wipro.

"The latest Ranking Guide shows there is close competition between HCL and Wipro to surge ahead than the other. These two Indian brands along with Acer have effective take-back service in India. Nokia and Samsung also have improved their take-back service in the country since the release of the last Ranking in June," said Abhishek Pratap, Greenpeace Toxics Campaigner." However, Zenith and PCS lag far behind among all electronic brands in practice of phasing out toxic chemicals and embracing producer responsibility for end-of-the-life products.".

Wipro made significant move this time and came close behind HCL with 3.7 on the scorecard. The brand has announced aggressive timeline of 2010 to phase out additional harmful chemicals like phthalates, antimony and beryllium. This announcement is better than what many global brands have committed so far. Wipro has also announced its support for e-waste legislation in India based on the principle of Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR). The brand has now better chemical management policy based on precautionary principle with an effective take-back service across India.

So far, no company has released a computer completely free of BFRs and PVC, though several have recently launched new products with restricted amounts of toxic BFRs and PVC. Last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that the new iPod line will be free of BFRs, PVC and mercury, following the lead of companies like Nokia and Sony Ericsson.  

"We see this as a very positive step by Apple towards its commitment to eliminate these toxic elements from all of its products by end of 2008. But, we are disappointed with the new iPod's built-in obsolescence -- its batteries cannot be replaced by the customer," said Iza Kruszewska, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace International.

Philips stands out as the company with the worst position on e-waste and recycling. It ranks 11th with 4.3 points, retaining its penalty point (3) for negative lobbying on Individual Producer Responsibility in the European Union (4).

Languishing at the bottom is Microsoft, which received 2.2; Sharp, 3.1; Nintendo, 0.8, PCS, 0.2 and Zenith, the only brand score zero point, rooted to the bottom.

 The Guide continues to drive significant change in the industry with Intel's recent announcement that its new Xeon 5400 processors use transistors made from Hafnium so avoiding the use of fire retardants such as BFRs.

For further information, contact

Abhishek Pratap, Greenpeace India Toxic Campaigner @ +91 98 456 10 749
Iza Kruszewska, , Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner, @ +44 7801 212 992
Ramapati Kumar, Greenpeace India Toxic Campaigner @ +91 98 455 35 414
Saumya Tripathy, Greenpeace India Communications @ +91 93 438 622 12

Notes to Editor

(1) The ninth Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics can be found at: http://www.greenpeace.org/greenerelectronics
The fourth Indian version of Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronic can be found at designout toxics.org

(2) According to Greenpeace India’s Take-Back Blues: An Assessment of E-waste Take-back in India, published in July, Nokia has one of the best take-back policies of all global brands in the country. See http://www.greenpeace.org/india/press/reports/take-back-blues

(3) A company receives a penalty point if it is found to be lying, practicing double standards or any other corporate misbehaviour.

(4) Philips, Sharp and Sanyo were members of the Electronic Manufacturers' Coalition for Responsible Recycling, a coalition of TV producers in the US, which lobbied against Producer Responsibility for financing e-waste recycling. It was finally dissolved in August. Samsung, Sony, LGE, Toshiba and Panasonic left the coalition after either being penalized or threatened with a penalty in previous editions of the Guide for their membership of the body.

Categories