Dell, Nokia Top List of 'Green' Electronics Cos.

Greenpeace, an environmental protections group, on Friday released its “Guide to Greener Electronics,” a report that ranks 14 major computer and mobile phone producers on their use of potentially harmful chemicals and other substances within products, as well as their recycling initiatives, according to an Aug. 25 press release on CommonDreams.org.

Though the report found that none of the 14 companies included within the report achieved a “green” rating, it says Finland’s Nokia does the best job using minimal amounts of hazardous chemicals, and Round Rock, Texas-based Dell is best in providing consumers with programs to help dispose of unwanted computer hardware and other materials.

“The scorecard will provide a dynamic tool to green the electronics sector by setting off a race to the top,” said Iza Kruszewska in the release. “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 safer reuse and recycling of electronic waste.”

Since the start of 2006, Nokia has not included any polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—a plastic used for wire and cable insulation that creates toxic pollution when disposed of improperly—in any of its products, and by the start of 2007 the company will cease the use of brominated flame retardants (BFR), a substance used within circuit boards and casings, according to the release. The report also found that not only is Dell operating recycling programs, but it has also set “ambitious targets” for recycling more and more consumers’ used computer equipment.

The ranking of firms included within Greenpeace’s report is as follows:

  1. Nokia, Dell (tie for 1st place)

  2. Hewlett-Packard

  3. Sony Ericsson

  4. Samsung

  5. Sony

  6. LG Electronics

  7. Panasonic

  8. Toshiba

  9. Fujitsu Siemens Computers

  10. Apple

  11. Acer

  12. Motorola

  13. Lenovo

The report will be adjusted every quarter based on firms’ increased—or decreased—attention to hazardous materials usage and recycling programs, and points will be deducted if Greenpeace finds any company stating deceptive information or participating in any “corporate misconduct.”

The ranking of companies depends more on their usage of dangerous materials in products than their recycling efforts because Greenpeace says it’s impossible to create fully-functional recycling programs if hazardous materials are still in use, according to the release.

For more information, check out the Guide to Greener Electronics.

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