In its just-released Guide to Greener Electronics (PDF), the activist organization rated electronics companies based on their record of eliminating hazardous substances from their products and manufacturing processes, and on their commitment to actively recycling obsolete products.
Lenovo scored eight of a possible 10 points in the report, earning praise for phasing out dangerous chemicals and for being the first to provide "global takeback and recycling services wherever its products are sold." Lenovo also got high marks for its adherence to existing environmental regulations and other relevant policies designed to protect human health and the global environment.
Of the 14 companies reviewed by Greenpeace, Apple fell to the bottom of the barrel with a dismal score of only 2.7 points. The PC and peripheral maker ran afoul of Greenpeace for inadequate recycling policies and for waffling on its timelines to phase out hazardous materials such as brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
"For a company that claims to lead on product design, it is perhaps surprising to find Apple languishing at the bottom of the scorecard," the report states. "While other laggards have moved upwards in the Guide (to Greener Electronics), 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."
Sony, Panasonic and LG electronics were also singled out as polluters in the report. LG and Sony were even assigned "penalty points" for corporate double-speak on environmental issues. Specifically, the Greenpeace report claims that the two companies publicly espouse support for producer responsibility, which designates "that the producer -- not consumer -- should be responsible for financing the waste management of its own brand products when they are discarded."
However, Greenpeace charges that both manufacturers are also "part of a coalition that has been opposing producer responsibility and lobbying for U.S. consumers to pay an Advanced Recycling Fee (ARF)."
quote: "Believe it or not, you can't become an expert on nuclear physics through a few minutes googling."