Ranking Shows No Green Electronics On The Market
GreenPeace Press Release
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Amsterdam, 25 August 2006 - Greenpeace today launched the 'Guide to
Greener Electronics', which ranks companies on their use of harmful
chemicals and electronic waste recycling. (1) The guide will be used to
create demand for toxic-free electronics which can be safely recycled, by
informing consumers about company performance on these two issues. The
scorecard ranks the 14 top mobile and PC producers and currently all fail
to get a green ranking.
"The scorecard will provide a dynamic tool to green the electronics
sector by setting off a race to the top. By taking back their discarded
products, companies will have incentives to eliminate harmful substances
used in their products, since this is the only way they can ensure safe
reuse and recycling of electronic waste," said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace
International toxics campaigner.
Nokia and Dell share the top spot in the ranking. They believe that as
producers they should bear individual responsibility for taking back and
reusing or recycling their own-brand discarded products. Nokia leads the
way on eliminating toxic chemicals, since the end of 2005 all new models
of mobiles are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and all new components to
be free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from the start of 2007. Dell
has also set ambitious targets for eliminating these harmful substances
from their products.
Third place goes to HP, followed by Sony Ericsson (4th), Samsung (5th),
Sony (6th), LG Electronics (7th), Panasonic (8th), Toshiba (9th), Fujitsu
Siemens Computers (10th), Apple (11th), Acer (12th) and Motorola (13th).
Lenovo is in bottom position. It earns points for chemicals management and
providing some voluntary product take back programmes, but it needs to do
better on all criteria.
"It is disappointing to see Apple ranking so low in the overall guide.
They are meant to be world leaders in design and marketing, they should
also be world leaders in environmental innovation." said Kruszewska.
Companies have the opportunity to move towards a greener ranking as the
guide will be updated every quarter. However penalty points will be
deducted from overall scores if Greenpeace finds a company lying,
practising double standards or other corporate misconduct. For now,
companies are scored solely on information publicly available on their
The scoring is weighted more heavily on the use of toxic substances in
production rather than criteria on recycling, because until the use of
harmful substances is eliminated in products, it is impossible to secure
'safe', toxic-free recycling.
For more information and interviews
Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner in the UK, mob
+44 7801 212 992 Suzette Jackson, Greenpeace International communications
officer in Amsterdam, mob +31 6 4619 7324
Notes to editors
(1) 'Guide to Greener Electronics' www.greenpeace.org/rankingguide
PVC explained: Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is a chlorinated plastic used in
some electronic products and for insulation on wires and cables. PVC is
one of the most widely used plastics but its production, use and disposal
create toxic pollution. Chlorinated dioxins and furans are released when
PVC is produced or disposed of by incineration (or simply burning).
Dioxins and furans are classes of chemical compounds widely recognised as
some of the most toxic chemicals ever made by humans and many are toxic
even in very low concentrations.
BFRs explained: BFRs, used in circuit board and plastic casings, do not
break down easily and build up in the environment. Long-term exposure can
lead to impaired learning and memory functions. They also interfere with
thyroid and oestrogen hormone systems. Exposure in the womb has been
linked to behavioural problems. TBBPA, a type of BFR used in circuit
boards has been linked to neurotoxicity.
The presence of high levels of BFRs in electronics products has the
potential to generate brominated dioxins and furans, when the electronic
waste comes to be smelted, incinerated or burnt in the open. Dioxins and
furans are classes of chemical compounds widely recognised as some of the
most toxic chemicals ever made by humans and many are toxic even in very
The electronics scorecard ranks companies on:
1. Chemicals policy and practice (5 criteria)
2. Policy and practice on taking back discarded electronic products
(ewaste) and recycling (4 criteria).
On chemicals, the criteria are:
a. A chemicals policy based on the Precautionary Principle
b. Chemicals Management: supply chain management of chemicals via e.g.
banned/restricted substance lists, policy to identify problematic
substances for future elimination/substitution c. Timeline for phasing out
all use of vinyl plastic (PVC) d. Timeline for phasing out all use of
brominated flame retardants (BFRs) - not just those banned by European
Union's or Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS) e.
PVC-free and BFR-free models of electronic products on the market.
a. Support for individual (financial) producer responsibility - that
producers finance the end-of-life management of their products, by taking
back and reusing/recycling their own-brand discarded products. b. Provides
voluntary takeback and recycling in every country where it sells its
products, even in the absence of national laws requiring Producer
Responsibility for electronic waste. c. Provides clear information for
individual customers on takeback and recycling services in all countries
where there are sales of its products. d. Reports on amount of waste
electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) collected and recycled