Nokia Goes Green

Greenpeace have published their ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’ today which highlights the major electronics companies that are doing the most to remove the worst toxic chemicals from their products. Nokia tops the list with Apple and Motorola bringing up the rear.

Greenpeace say the ranking is important because the amounts of toxic e-waste is growing everyday and it often ends up dumped in the developing world. Reducing the toxic chemicals in products reduces pollution from old products and makes recycling safer, easier and cheaper. Companies with good recycling schemes help ensure that their products don’t end up in the e-waste yards of Asia.

"The scorecard will provide a dynamic tool to green the electronics sector by setting off a race to the top. By taking back their discarded products, companies will have incentives to eliminate harmful substances used in their products, since this is the only way they can ensure safe reuse and recycling of electronic waste," said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner.

Nokia and Dell share the top spot in the ranking. They believe that as producers they should bear individual responsibility for taking back and reusing or recycling their own-brand discarded products. Nokia leads the way on eliminating toxic chemicals, since the end of 2005 all new models of mobiles are free of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and all new components to be free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from the start of 2007. Dell has also set ambitious targets for eliminating these harmful substances from their products.

Third place goes to HP, followed by Sony Ericsson (4th), Samsung (5th), Sony (6th), LG Electronics (7th), Panasonic (8th), Toshiba (9th), Fujitsu Siemens Computers (10th), Apple (11th), Acer (12th) and Motorola (13th).

"It is disappointing to see Apple ranking so low in the overall guide. They are meant to be world leaders in design and marketing, they should also be world leaders in environmental innovation." said Kruszewska.

Companies have the opportunity to move towards a greener ranking as the guide will be updated every quarter. However penalty points will be deducted from overall scores if we find a company lying, practising double standards or other corporate misconduct. For now, companies are scored solely on information publicly available on their global websites.

With a average score of only 4/10 it is clear that the electronics industry has a long way to go before it can make any claims to being a green industry.