November 09, 2011
| by Steven Castle
The result are in—drum roll, please—and the winners of best green electronics company, according to environmental group Greenpeace, are … no one, really.
Oh, HP, Dell Nokia, Apple and Philips led the way, but Greenpeace doesn’t think any of the electronics companies are truly green. And like any good ratings system, the organization’s Guide to Greener Electronics keeps raising the bar, so some companies actually fell back from previous scores.
This years’ Guide challenges large consumer electronics companies to reduce their carbon footprint in manufacturing and supply chain right through to the end-of-life phase of their products and to set ambitious goals for renewable energy use. Other criteria include energy efficiency of the product, reducing hazardous materials in products, disclosing the company’s greenhouse gas emissions, providing effective voluntary take-back of products for recycling, and several more.
In addition to our previous focus on product energy efficiency, toxics phase out and recycled plastic use, companies are now required to disclose and increase the length of warranty for best-selling products and take responsibility for the ever growing mountain of e-waste.
• Highest scorer HP is strongest on sustainable operations and energy criteria but could improve on green products criteria.
• Dell scores best on energy criteria with a strong target to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2015 but scores poorly on green products.
• Nokia loses its leadership position to HP and Dell over energy criteria but scores well on green products and sustainable operations.
• Apple scored high in energy efficiency and avoidance of hazardous substances in products but low on having a clean energy policy.
• Philips gets a strong score along with Sony for supporting a progressive clean energy policy and on energy criteria overall.
• Samsung scores best on sustainable operations, but needs to improve on energy criteria, especially on sourcing more green power. The company also scored poorly on reducing hazardous substances in TVs.
• Panasonic gets one of the highest scores on greener products but scores poorly on energy, and needs to have a clear plan on how it can cut carbon emissions and boost renewable energy use.
• Sony went down six places, earning a penalty for lobbying against stricter energy efficiency standards in California.
• LG Electronics has weak emissions reduction targets and needs to increase renewable energy use.
• Toshiba has made some progress on phasing out hazardous substances but needs to improve on energy criteria.
• RIM, maker of the BlackBerry, was new to the Guide.
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