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Greenpeace has given three computer giants a resounding “F” grade for failing to follow through on promises to reduce the toxicity of their products.
The latest edition of Greenpeace’s “Guide to Greener Electronics”, released yesterday, paid special attention to the dismal performances of Hewlett Packard, Dell and Lenovo, which all failed to improve their low scores from last year.
The three companies were each given a penalty point for backtracking on their commitments to eliminate polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from their products by the end of 2009.
The report said that HP continues to lag behind other PC brands having postponed its 2007 commitment to phase out PVC and BFRs from its computer products (excluding its server and printer lines) from 2009 to 2011.
“Greenpeace takes voluntary commitments very seriously and holds companies accountable for their promises. There are no excuses for backtracking, and no reason for these companies not to have PCs free of PVC and BFRs now,” said Greenpeace New Zealand communications manager Suzette Jackson.
However, the computer companies weren’t quite the worst of the 18 tech companies surveyed; Dell came in at 13th, HP was 14th and Lenovo was 16th. Nintendo came in lasr.
Nokia remained in top spot with 7.4 points out of 10, with Samsung and Sony Ericsson catching up with 7.1 and 6.5 points respectively.
LGE, Toshiba and Motorola moved up the ranking to take 4th, 5th and 6th places.
Sony dropped down from 5th to 12th position, “as it has not kept pace with progress made by other companies, especially on e-waste recycling performance”, the report said.
Lenovo also dropped down “due to further weakening of its commitment on toxic chemicals phase-out”.
Apple won praise for its new computer lines, which are virtually free of PVC and completely BFR-free and “demonstrate the technical feasibility and supply-chain readiness of producing alternatives to these hazardous substances”.
This will surely please “An Inconvenient Truth” star Al Gore, who is on Apple’s board.
Greenpeace has called on companies to eliminate BFRs and PVC from their product range, labeling them “harmful throughout the entire lifecycle of a product”.