Greenpeace gives polluting PC companies a smack

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”.

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5 Comments & Questions

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Greenpeace is an activist organisation that slants issues to suit their extreme agenda. Their press releases should be given the same relevance one would give to advertorial.

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Advertorial is being generous.
They fit in somewhere between the gossip column and the horoscopes in my opinion.
Go Bjorn Lomborg!
;-)

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if you want to make a difference forget greenpeace and go seashepherd.org

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Painting Greenpeace as extreme, ignores the world wide trend is away from plastics containing halogens such as chlorine and bromine.

The ROhS took force in the European Union in 2006 and banned certain types of additives such as Polybrominated Biphenyls (PBB) as well as heavy meals like lead and mercury.

Elimination of PVC and Brominated flame retardants is a step beyond that, but a logical one because organo halogens produce nasty dioxin like chemicals when burnt.

At some time in the future, all waste will need to be recycled or degraded in some way because there will be no safe holes to bury it in. Burning or chemically degrading plastics will become necessary, so organo halogens and heavy metals are a real liability.
While Greenpeace is highlighting future areas of environmental action, I think it is better to start thinking about replacing PVC sooner than later. It gives us time to avoid expensive and rushed substitutions later on.

Remember that CFC’s and Asbestos were retained in use far too long and proved very expensive in terms of both health and money.

Check out:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restriction_of_Hazardous_Substances_Directive

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with post #1.
Greenpeace have acted like terrorists , when they think it will get them publicity.
I don't know why news sources such as this bother to report their opinions.

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