It's time once again for Greenpeace to badger electronics companies into submission with the 14th quarterly Guide to Greener Electronics (PDF). The guide, which was announced at this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, has gotten tougher on companies in this round. In addition to rating manufacturers on hazardous substances and e-waste practices, Greenpeace now takes into account lobbying practices—specifically, whether companies lobby for industry laws that prevent the use of toxic materials.
Even with lobbying efforts taken into consideration, this quarter's guide isn't much different from the last one. Nokia and Samsung remain at the head of the class (even as Greenpeace chastises Nokia for its lobbying practices), while Nintendo and Microsoft are still at the bottom. The big winner in the guide is Apple, which has risen in the past few years from last place to fifth place in large part because of Greenpeace's creative Green My Apple campaign. Last year, Apple became the first company to completely eliminate toxic PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from its products.
But while this is all great for self-congratulatory purposes and press releases, does anyone at CES care about the rankings? It was certainly apropos of Greenpeace to debut the latest guide at the annual gadgetfest, but we doubt that anyone browsing the Samsung booth is going to call the company out for failing to come through on its promise to eliminate BFRs by January 2010. That isn't stopping Greenpeace from trying, of course—the organization launched a Twitter campaign against Samsung, stating that "While Samsung's marketing people are touting their wares at CES, we'll be calling them out on twitter with this petition". A quick survey shows that the petition isn't exactly catching fire (6 tweets in the past hour), but we can't fault Greenpeace for trying. In the end, though, the guide will probably be ignored by the vast majority of CES attendees.