BlackBerry Sure Ain’t “Green”: RIM Blasted by Greenpeace
Greenpeace included BlackBerry-maker RIM for the first time in its Guide to Greener Electronics, which ranks electronics manufacturers on a variety of sustainability efforts. Unfortunately, RIM took the last slot out of 15 leading gadget makers, significantly behind handset rivals like Nokia, Apple, Samsung and LG.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
One more piece of bad news for Canadian BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM): environmental sustainability group Greenpeace International this week released its Guide to Greener Electronics, which ranks electronics manufacturers on their environmentally-friendly practices—or lack thereof. And RIM ranked last out of 15 high-profile gadget makers.
This is the first time RIM was included in the Guide to Greener Electronics, which has been issued by Greenpeace quarterly since 2006. Greenpeace says its goal in releasing the guide is to build awareness around corporate sustainability efforts in the electronics space and persuade more companies to invest the appropriate time and resources in maximizing environmental friendliness.
RIM scored very poorly in the following categories: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions and targets; clean energy policy advocacy; avoidance of hazardous substances in products; use of recycled plastic in products; product life-cycle; and the measurement and reduction of energy consumption in the supply chain. (Full details on RIM’s ranking can be found on Greenpeace’s website.)
In RIM’s defense, most of its poor ratings are related to a lack of reporting on key environmental issues, not necessarily environmental damage, etc.
The complete November 2011 Greenpeace ranking of electronics makers is as follows:
You may have noticed that additional leading gadget manufacturers, including Motorola and HTC, are absent from the Greenpeace ranking.
“Due to a limited product portfolio Microsoft…[has] been removed from the Guide…Motorola … [has] been removed because of reductions in their global market share. Microsoft will now only be assessed in the Cool IT Leaderboard due out in 2012.”
It’s worth noting that your average consumer probably doesn’t pay much attention to their favorite gadget-maker’s environmental friendliness—though they certainly should. In other words, had Apple been ranked very poorly, as it was in past versions of this guide, I don’t think the company would see any significant reduction in iPad or iPhone demand. Bad press like this blog post could, however, lead companies like RIM to improve upon environmental sustainability efforts.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.