Apple has not improved its green ranking – despite Greenpeace’s efforts to convince the company to be more environmentally responsible.
Greenpeace’s ‘Green Electronics Guide’ ranks leading mobile and PC manufacturers on their global policies and practice on eliminating harmful chemicals and on taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded by consumers. The non-profit organisation has just published this years report, and for the second year running Apple is ranked in last place with a score of 2.7 out of a possible 10.
According to Greenpeace’s report: “Apple has made no changes to its policies or practices since the launch of the Guide in August 2006. The company scores badly on almost all criteria. Apple fails to embrace the precautionary principle, withholds its full list of regulated substances and provides no timelines for eliminating toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and no commitment to phasing out all uses of brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Apple performs poorly on product take back and recycling, but it does report on the amounts of its electronic waste recycled.”
The company gets a ‘Bad’ ranking for having no clear timeline for BFR phaseout (although Greenpeace admits that Apple commits to halogen-free printed circuit boards), and no PVC-free and or BFR-free models (although Greenpeace admits Apple lists some PVC-free peripherals on its website).
Apple ranks ‘Partially Bad’ for precautionary principle, chemicals management, timeline for PVC phaseout, individual producer responsibility, voluntary take-back (a scheme that Greenpeace doesn’t think is explicit enough), and information to individual customers. For amounts recycled Apple gets ‘Partially Good’.
Greenpeace launched the “Green My Apple” campaign last year. Activity included taking a pitch at, and being thrown out of, MacExpo in London.
Top of the ranking is Lenovo with 8 points. Interestingly in August 2006 Lenovo was at the bottom of the ranking. Greenpeace notes that the Chinese PC maker, which bought IBM’s laptop division in 2005, is: “The most improved: from last place to first. Progress on all criteria but loses points for not having products free of the worst chemicals on the market yet.”
Lenovo is also praised for its practices to reduce e-waste (old electronic equipment that can leach toxic substances into landfills and water tables).
Greenpeace also praised Dell founder Michael Dell, for challenging “the entire industry to adopt a worldwide takeback policy, something we put on our wish list to Dell when the campaign first started, and several companies have met and even exceeded our demands.”
In second place in the ranking was Nokia (7.3 points), Sony Ericsson (7 points), Dell (7 points) and Samsung (6.3 points), Motorola (6.3), Fujitsu-Siemens (6), HP (5.6), Acer (5.3), Toshiba (4.3), Sony (4), LGE (3.6), Panasonic (3.6). Then Apple at the bottom with 2.7 points.