Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics: HP Moves Up, Apple Falls Down

The latest installment of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics has arrived, and Apple probably isn’t too happy–after climbing in the rankings in past editions, the electronics maker dropped from fifth to ninth place. HP, on the other hand, clawed its way up from eighth to fourth place. What happened?

Apple has performed well on the toxic chemicals front, with all products now free of free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). But the company lost major points for its secrecy about future toxic chemical phase-out plans, as well as its chemical management and minimal supply chain communications. It’s not that Apple did anything so wrong this time around–it was just overtaken by other companies that performed better.

HP, for example. scored well for its new line of PVC and BFR-free products, its commitment to phase out beryllium and compounds by July 2011, and its recent launch of the first PVC-free printer.

Both Apple and HP are practically environmental heroes compared to the biggest loser on Greenpeace’s list. Nintendo comes in last place due to its lack of e-waste criteria, yearly increases in greenhouse gas emissions, and lack of a timeline for PVC phase-out.

All the companies in Greenpeace’s rankings could take a lesson from Nokia, which scored first place once again. All of the company’s new products have been PVC-free since the end of 2005, and all new 2010 models of cell phones and accessories are free of brominated compounds, chlorinated flame
retardants and antimony trioxide. Now if only that sold phones.

Ariel Schwartz can be reached on Twitter or by email.AS