A child sitting among cables and e-waste, Guiyu, China.

Greenpeace began campaigning to make the electronics industry more transparent and less environmentally destructive with our Toxic Tech campaign, which successfully pushed major electronics companies like Apple to make their great products without some of the most hazardous chemicals, like PVC. With the launch of the CoolIT campaign in 2009, we started looking at how our work with technology companies could help reduce the IT industry’s carbon footprint and celebrate IT leaders who take climate change as seriously as their customers do. (If you haven’t already seen our Toxic Tech Campaign timeline of achievements, it’s worth a look to see which electronics companies have made the most progress over the years.)

The Guide to Greener Electronics was first released in 2007, ranking the biggest electronics companies on the environmental friendliness of their products and policies so that consumers could be better informed about which products were the least harmful for the planet. Five years later, we will be releasing the Guide’s 18th edition in November. Though there is still work to do in the area of removing toxic chemicals from our laptops and smartphones, the industry has proven that it’s technically and economically feasible and consumers have proven with our dollars that this is important to us.

Greenpeace’s 18th version of the Guide to Greener Electronics will continue to focus on the industry’s impact on our climate. We are now focusing in on the industry’s renewable energy opportunities. The Guide challenges electronics companies to reduce their carbon footprint: from the supply chain, to manufacturing, right through to the end-of-life phase of their products; and to set ambitious goals for renewable energy use.

We are excited to see which companies have moved the farthest. Last year HP moved up three spots to lead the Guide with 5.9 out of 10 points, followed by Dell, Nokia, and Apple. But with no company achieving full points, there is clearly still plenty of room for all the companies to improve.

Stay tuned for the Guide’s release this November, so you can congratulate the companies leading the way to a renewable energy future, and give a piece of your mind to the companies caught in the old carbon-based economy.