Greenpeace: Sony Ericsson most 'green' electronics company

Microsoft, Nintendo perform poorly

Greenpeace, the environmental advocacy group, ranks Sony Ericsson as the most environmentally responsible electronics maker while slamming Microsoft and Nintendo for their poor e-waste management efforts as well as for high levels of toxic materials in their electronics products.

On Monday Greenpeace released the sixth edition of its quarterly "Guide to Greener Electronics," in which it ranks 18 leading electronics manufacturers on their efforts to eliminate toxic substances from their products and other efforts to be environmentally responsible.

The Greenpeace guide considers manufacturers' efforts to curtail the use of materials such as vinyl plastics (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from their products. It also examines the companies' other efforts, including various product takeback initiatives and discarded product recycling efforts. (The group's methodology and criteria are available on its website.)

The most recent edition of the group's ranking includes a number of new companies such as Phillips, Sharp, Nintendo and Microsoft, the market leaders in the television and game console spaces.

Green electronics

London-based Mobile handset maker Sony Ericsson received the first-place ranking because it plans to have all BFRs removed from its products by the start of 2008, and also because all its handsets have been free of PVC plastic since 2006. However, the company was penalized because it provided inaccurate information to consumers regarding its handset recycling efforts. Greenpeace investigators found that product takeback programs advertised in Thailand, Russia, Argentina and India were nonexistent.

Companies that received low scores on the Green Scorecard provide little or no information on the toxic materials found within their electronics products, or such products contain uncommonly high levels of such materials, according to Greenpeace. Low scores can also be a result of a lack of effective product takeback and recycling efforts on the part of companies.

The rankings are based on publicly available information, as well as Greenpeace communications with the manufacturers about recycling and product takeback programs. Iza Kruszewska, toxics campaigner at Greenpeace International, said in a statement that Greenpeace will continue to check up on companies' "going green" claims.

The Greenpeace scorecard ranking is as follows:

  • Sony Ericsson, up from second place in the last edition of the guide

  • Samsung, up from eighth

  • Sony, up from sixth

  • Dell, down from third-place tie with Lenovo; Lenovo, down from third-place tie with Dell

  • Toshiba, up from 10th

  • LG Electronics, down from fifth

  • Fujitsu-Siemens, down from eighth

  • Nokia, down from the number-one slot

  • HP, up from 13th

  • Apple, up from the 12th-place tie with Acer

  • Acer, down from the 12th-place tie with Apple

  • Panasonic, up from 14th

  • Motorola, down from ninth place

  • Sharp, first time in the ranking

  • Microsoft, first time in the ranking

  • Phillips, first time in the ranking

  • Nintendo, first time in the ranking

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