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Greenpeace Ranks Best/Worst Consumer Electronics Brands
What electronics companies score high—and which don’t.
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December 04, 2008 by Steven Castle

What consumer electronics companies do you think are really green? Apple? HP? Dell?

The results may surprise you. According to Greenpeace, Apple, HP and Dell are only in the middle of the pack of 18 top consumer electronics brands.

The environmental advocacy group has released its annual Guide to Green Electronics and wags its finger at many of our beloved electronics brands, saying that very few firms are showing true climate leadership. “Despite many green claims, major companies like Dell, Microsoft, Lenovo, LG, Samsung and Apple are failing to support the necessary levels of global cuts in emissions and make the absolute cuts in their own emissions that are required to tackle climate change,” Greenpeace says.

The Guide to Green Electronics ranks the leaders of the mobile phone, computer, TV and games console markets according to their policies and practices on toxic chemicals, recycling and energy. The current edition focuses on climate leadership.

Here’s a look at the top 5:

  • Nokia
  • Sony Ericsson
  • Toshiba
  • Samsung
  • Fujitsu Siemens

Sharp and Motorola also make big jumps up the ranking. The big PC companies such as Dell, HP, Apple and Acer drop down. Dell continues to be overtaken by other companies.

Toshiba rose in the standings by reporting its use of renewable energy and providing information on the percentage of TVs on the U.S. market that meet the Energy Star standard. It continues to report that 93-percent of new PC platforms developed since July 07 can be configured to meet Energy Star 4, according to Greenpeace.

Although Apple drops a place, it improves its overall score slightly, with much better reporting on the carbon footprint of its products. Apple has also recently shown leadership on removing the worst toxics substances with new iPods free of toxics brominated flame retardants and PVC. All Apple products should be free of these substances by the end of 2008, which will challenge other PC makers to follow their lead.

“Of the 18 market-leading companies included in the Guide, only Sharp, Fujitsu Siemens and Philips show full support for the necessary cuts of 30-percent for industrial nations by 2020,” says Greenpeace in a statement. “Only HP and Philips have made commitments to make substantial cuts in their own emissions. All the other companies in the Guide make vague or essentially meaningless statements about global emissions reductions and have no plans to make absolute emissions cuts themselves.”

Greenpeace concludes: “It’s time electronics companies showed climate leadership in two vital areas now: giving their high profile support to the levels of global emissions cuts we need to tackle climate change and showing it can be done by making absolute cuts in their own emissions.”

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Steven Castle - Contributing Writer
Steven Castle is Electronic House's managing editor. he has been writing about consumer electronics, homes and energy efficiency topics for two decades. He is also the co-founder of GreenTech Advocates.

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