Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics: Nokia Keeps Its Top Spot, Toshiba's Rank Drops

Greenpeace has released its quarterly edition of their Guide to Greener Electronics, with some dramatic shifts in their ratings of electronics manufacturers. The guide keeps Nokia in the top spot, and Nintendo remains in last place.

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Greenpeace has released its quarterly edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics, with some dramatic shifts in their ratings of electronics manufacturers. The guide keeps Nokia in the top spot, and Nintendo remains in last place. But plenty of companies get shuffled around in the middle.

Nokia has already phased out all brominated compounds, chlorinated flame retardants, and antimony trioxide in new products. Sony Ericcson slides into second place thanks to a policy that keeps all new products free of PVC and BFRs (with the exception of a few components.)

Toshiba's drop from from third to 14th place can be attributed to the company's failure to deliver all new consumer electronics products free of toxic PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by April 1st, as promised. Even worse, the company hasn't provided a new timeline, indicating that it may have just given up on the effort altogether. LG backtracked on a similar commitment to remove PVC and BFRs by the end of 2010. Instead, the company now plans to remove those substances from cell phones only by the end of the year. Greenpeace also caught LG lying about the energy efficiency of products in the U.S and Australia.

Dell hasn't backtracked on any of its commitments, but Greenpeace is still demanding that the company detail a phase-out plan for PVC and BFRs by the company’s self-imposed 2011 deadline. Earlier today, Greenpeace activists scaled Dell's global headquarters and hung a banner saying, "Michael, What the Dell? Design Out Toxics. Greenpeace's guerrilla tactics have worked before, so we won't be surprised if Dell issues some sort of response. We'll reserve judgment, though, until the next version of the Guide to Greener Electronics.

[Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics]

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3 Comments

  • Kenneth Hong

    LG is committed to producing the highest quality products for our consumers and takes seriously any claim that its products do not meet high standards. The comment above that LG deliberately misled the public about the efficiency of our products until Greenpeace came along is not only pure fabrication, it’s irresponsible journalism. It would have required very little effort for Fast Company to contact LG directly to get the real story, which might not be as colorful but would have been a more accurate account of what really happened.

    Earlier this year, concerns were raised in Australia that some models of LG side-by-side door refrigerators were labeled with an incorrect energy consumption and energy star rating. This arose from concerns that, since new rules came into effect in August 2007, an energy efficient mode that operates when some LG refrigerators are left for a sustained period without opening the door (going away for the weekend, for example) should have been disabled when calculating comparative energy consumptions for any new energy label registrations. This was not done for the energy label applied to the models in question from October 2009 (the 2009 Energy Labels).

    LG believes this energy efficient mode is a valuable feature that over time delivers real energy savings. However, concerns have been raised by CHOICE, the publication of the Australian Consumers’ Association – and not Greenpeace -- that under changes to energy labeling rules introduced since 2007, the energy saving effects of this mode should not be counted when calculating the comparative energy consumption that is displayed on the energy label. LG was concerned that the Australian consumers who purchased one of these refrigerators may have been misled about the comparative energy efficiency of the unit and its likely running costs and decided to offer a rebate, refund or replacement to affected customers.

    We have even established a website to help customers get more information regarding this campaign: www.LGresponds.com.au. In the end, it’s open dialogue and transparency, not hastily researched stories, that benefit consumers the most.

    Kenneth Hong
    Director, Global Communications
    LG Electronics, Inc.
    ken.hong@lge.com

  • daniel kessler

    Daniel at Greenpeace here.

    When a company promises to phase out the use of toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer, we hold them to their word. Dell promised to phase out the use of BFRs and PVC by the end of 2009. They didn't meet their deadline. Now their goal is the end of 2011. Apple and HP are leading by example by phasing out these key toxic chemicals. Dell can't be green until they do the same.

    Dell does a lot right, but until Dell produces a roadmap for phasing out these toxic chemicals, Greenpeace will continue to pressure the company.

    More information at www.greenpeace.org/electronics

  • Michelle Mosmeyer

    Michelle at Dell here. Wanted to share that Dell is committed to integrating the most environmentally preferable materials into our products.

    We have always been committed to eliminating BFR/PVC from our products, and we plan to achieve that goal by the end of 2011 for newly introduced personal computing products. This task presents challenges, but we’re working closely with our suppliers to find reliable, environmentally preferable alternatives that maintain the performance standards our customers require.

    We already deliver some BFR/PVC-free or -reduced products today. Our G-series monitors, for example, are free of PVC, BFR, arsenic and mercury; their chassis is made of 25%+ recycled materials; and they’re EPEAT Gold certified.

    Building greener products is just one aspect of Dell’s commitment to environmental responsibility, in addition to our free, convenient consumer recycling programs; our industry-leading ban on exporting e-waste; designing more sustainable packaging from materials such as bamboo; and meeting 25% of our company’s energy needs using renewable energy like wind and solar.

    Thanks for the opportunity to discuss.