Apple’s score plummets as Greenpeace expands ranking criteria in its Guide to Greener Electronics

Out of the 18 electronics companies evaluated in the 8th edition of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics, only two companies – Sony Ericsson and Sony – score above 5/10. The overall score of the ranked companies has plummeted as Greenpeace tightens requirements on electronic waste (e-waste) and toxic chemicals, and adds new requirements for evaluating companies’ impact on climate change.

The newly-added energy criteria (1) require companies to show their political support for global mandatory cuts in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the post Kyoto political process. Companies must also commit to absolute reductions in GHG emissions from their own operations. Most companies take a limited view of this by only focusing on the energy efficiency of their products (2) rather than including the production process. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector currently accounts for 2% of global GHG emissions (3), equal to the aviation industry. As one of the most innovative and fastest growing industries, Greenpeace expects the sector to take leadership in tackling climate change by reducing both their direct and indirect climate carbon footprint.

Apple again comes in at 11th position scoring 4.1 points (down from 6.0 points in Greenpeace’s last report in December 2007), mainly due to putting products on the market whose key components are free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC vinyl plastic. For example, all new models of iMac and the MacBook Air have bromine-free casings and printed circuit board laminates as well as PVC-free internal cables. Millions of iPods now have bromine-free enclosures and printed circuit board laminates. The MacBook Air also has mercury free LCD display with arsenic-free glass. MacBook Pros come with mercury-free LED backlit displays. Apple scores poorly on most e-waste criteria, except for reporting a recycling rate in 2006 of 9.5% as a percentage of sales 7 years ago. It does only slightly better on energy criteria, failing to score on all criteria except energy efficiency of products, where it scores top marks (doubled) for all desktops computers, portable PCs and displays complying with Energy Star 4.0 and their iPod and iPhone power adapters not only exceeding the Energy Star standard, but already meeting California’s stricter efficiency regulations that take effect 1 July 2008.

“Electronics giants pay attention to environmental performance on certain issues, while ignoring others that are just as important. Philips, for example, scores well on chemicals and energy criteria, but scores a zero on e-waste since it has no global take-back polices,” said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner, in the press release. “Philips would score higher if it took responsibility for its own branded e-waste and established equitable global take-back schemes.”

Many companies score well on energy efficiency as their products comply and exceed Energy Star standards (4). The best performers on energy efficiency are Sony Ericsson and Apple, with all of their models meeting, and many exceeding, Energy Star requirements. Sony Ericsson stands out as the first company to score almost top marks on all of the chemicals criteria (3). With all new Sony Ericsson models being PVC-free, the company has also met the new chemicals criterion in the ranking, having already banned antimony, beryllium and phthalates from models launched since January 2008.

“Greenpeace aims to show which companies are serious about becoming environmental leaders. We want them to race towards meeting the new criteria: phasing out other toxic chemicals, increasing the recycling rate of e-waste, using recycled materials in new products and reducing their impact on climate change,” concluded Iza Kruszewska.

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  1. @Reality -> How do you know? Do you know how many barrels of oil are still in the ground waiting to be discovered? People have been making those predictions for decades. They were wrong, horribly wrong and it caused years and years of economic problems that didn’t need to happen. Their politics and religious beliefs overshadowed reality.

    It is that kind of I know everything and you are stupid if you don’t believe what I say crap and I’ll shout you down while I continue to spread FUD that they claim is fact that is really frightening to me.

    While were waiting for the next energy revolution to occur, and I for one hope it does happen, why don’t we utilize the resources we have available and raise the standard of living for everyone on the planet instead of lowering it by reducing it.

    MDN Magic Word: We ‘can’ do this.

  2. Lesson: If you want to shake down corporate America, wrap yourself in either the cloak of environmentalism or the cloak of racism. Greenpeace uses the same strategies that Rev. Sharpton uses to extort the desired behavior of their targets. The IRS has finally caught on to Sharpton, I wonder how long before they investigate Greenpeace?

  3. Thanks for your posting! I just love it when you write. It’s so much fun to see you get your shorts in a knot, ranting and so full of yourself, spit drooling down your cheeks as you scream furiously. To watch your cheeks puff up as you turn red with anger and hate is so cute…

    Please do hate some more! The more you hate, the stronger Emperor Palpatine becomes…

    So please do come back again and hate some more. You are most welcome to rant here. You’re making self-righteousness into a true art form. Thanks for visiting! Have a nice day!

  4. I’m glad Greenpeace is auditing companies and publicizing their findings.
    Sure I love my Apple products, but would I love them even more if thery were less toxic? Of course!
    I don’t understand anti-Greenpeace, or anti-environmentalist postings here. You’re in favour of pollution?
    I’m trying to figure out what harm can come of Apple (or any company) making its products less toxic.

  5. “Greenpeace aims to show which companies are serious about becoming environmental leaders.”

    BULL $h!T

    The “political” requirements are enough to let the world know that “GreenPiece” is full of crap!

    Just like any other large political organization they have become whores for money and support – “F” um!

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