Company scores plummet as Greenpeace expands the ranking criteria in its Guide to Greener Electronics

Press release - 25 June, 2008
Out of the 18 electronics companies evaluated in the 8th edition of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics, only two companies - Sony Ericsson and Sony – score above 5/10. The overall score of the ranked companies has plummeted as Greenpeace tightens requirements on electronic waste (e-waste) and toxic chemicals, and adds new requirements for evaluating companies’ impact on climate change.

The newly-added energy criteria (1) require companies to show their political support for global mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the post Kyoto political process. Companies must also commit to absolute reductions in GHG emissions from their own operations. Most companies take a limited view of this by only focusing on the energy efficiency of their products (2) rather than including the production process. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector currently accounts for 2% of global GHG emissions (3), equal to the aviation industry. As one of the most innovative and fastest growing industries, Greenpeace expects the sector to take leadership in tackling climate change by reducing both their direct and indirect climate carbon footprint.

"Electronics giants pay attention to environmental performance on certain issues, while ignoring others that are just as important. Philips, for example, scores well on chemicals and energy criteria, but scores a zero on e-waste since it has no global take-back polices," said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner. "Philips would score higher if it took responsibility for its own branded e-waste and established equitable global take-back schemes."

Many companies score well on energy efficiency as their products comply and exceed Energy Star standards (4). The best performers on energy efficiency are Sony Ericsson and Apple, with all of their models meeting, and many exceeding, Energy Star requirements. Sony Ericsson stands out as the first company to score almost top marks on all of the chemicals criteria (3). With all new Sony Ericsson models being PVC-free, the company has also met the new chemicals criterion in the ranking, having already banned antimony, beryllium and phthalates from models launched since January 2008.

"Greenpeace aims to show which companies are serious about becoming environmental leaders. We want them to race towards meeting the new criteria: phasing out other toxic chemicals, increasing the recycling rate of e-waste, using recycled materials in new products and reducing their impact on climate change," concluded Iza Kruszewska.

Other contacts: Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner, Mobile: +44 7801 212 992Omer Elnaiem, Greenpeace International Communications, mobile: + 31 6 15093589Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner in the US, mobile + 1 415 307 3382

Notes: 1. For full explanation of the new evaluation criteria, visit: Volume eight of the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics can be found at: Fujitsu Siemens scores full marks on the requirement to support global mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Nokia leads the pack on renewable energy, already deriving 25% of its total electricity needs from renewable sources with a target to increase this to 50% in 2010. Philips used some 10% renewable energy in 2007 and intends to increase this to 25% by 2012.3. “Green IT – Dealing With the New Industry Shockwave – Part 2” Gartner Presentation by Simon Mingay for Gartner Symposium ITXPO 2007, 20 – 23 November 2007 Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre, Australia.4. Energy Star is a joint United Stated Environment Protection Agency (USEPA) and the US Department of Energy programme setting energy efficiency standards for electrical and electronics products, more information at: Sony Ericsson stands out as the first company to score almost top marks on all the chemicals criteria, missing this target only by having unacceptably high threshold limits for brominated flame retardants (BFRs), meaning that many of its products are claimed to be BFR-free.