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Chinese PC maker Lenovo scored top honors in Greenpeace's third report on environmental performance in the electronics industry.
Environmental group Greenpeace has named Lenovo as the most ecologically friendly electronics maker in the world, while the lowest marks went to Apple Computer for its contribution to "toxic tech"

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)."

Greenpeace has had a bone to pick with Apple for some time.  Last year Greenpeace demonstrators were kicked out of MacExpo.  Two months later, Greenpeace released a scathing report detailing Apple as the worst environmentally friendly PC manufacturer in the world.


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RE: Let me get this straight
By derdon on 4/5/2007 9:01:16 PM , Rating: 2
No it's not wrong. A big part of GE research goes into making plants more resistant, especially to pesticides. So that they can spray them over the plants without hurting the plants but just the bugs.
And well this is good in theory, because the pesticides leave the plant unharmed and kill all the bugs. However as a side effect they also kill most of the micro-living in the soil and that's a pretty bad thing!

It is well known that rainforest soil is fertile for only a few number of years. I forgot the actual number, but I believe it was around 3 years that you can hope to farm the soil. Typically you'd get best results after the first and second year, then numbers start to drop. This is one reason why they constantly need to cut down new areas of the rainforest. The right thing to do would be to let the forest grow back again, but that requires about 12 years (IIRC) and is almost impossible when you kill all live therein with heavy pesticides.

"Yes, but coal power is not campaigned against nearly as much as nuclear power was. When was the last time you heard about Greenpeace camping out in front of a coal plant to try and shut it down?"

Coal power is constantly campaigned against. It's hard to make news these days with just a factory occupation. On a side note, Greenpeace will never shut a plant down! They sometimes block it temporarily (half a day or one day, depending on how fast the police is able to remove them) so that work cannot continue as usual and only in a limited manner, but it's an impossible thing that they'd touch the controls! Contrary to how people portray the organization, they're not eco-terrorists. Remember that peacefulness is the #1 principle in all Greenpeace actions. This is a very strict rule and anyone that violates this will be thrown out immediately!
Anyway, just searching for Greenpeace and "Kohlekraftwerk" which is german for coal power plant reveals a lot of the protest that they're doing. Here's one from December 2005 where they protested for three days at a coal plant in Thailand. You need to understand german to read it though (or search for it in english):
http://www.greenpeace.de/themen/klima/nachrichten/...

"Honestly, the only reason I hate environmental organizations and people that support them is because they are not making things better and ultimately cost us more money to fund."

I think you know very little about these organizations and how they work.


RE: Let me get this straight
By Cogman on 4/6/2007 2:01:10 AM , Rating: 2
"And well this is good in theory, because the pesticides leave the plant unharmed and kill all the bugs. However as a side effect they also kill most of the micro-living in the soil and that's a pretty bad thing!"

Well first thing about that, when speaking about microbiology, how long do you think it takes for it to restore itself to its former glory? Honestly Micro-organisms don't exactly take years to rebuild, especially if there is no competition for food. You would have problems with the soil needing to be washed of the pesticides, but that won't exactly be a 1000 year destruction of the soil, more like 10 at the most.

"Greenpeace will never shut a plant down!"

I agree 100% with that statement, they will never shut a coal plant down, and that is because they are too busy attacking good alternatives and promoting crappy ones. You cant stop a coal plant by simply lobbying against it, you have to provide a viable solution that will replace it. Nuclear power was just that, but they did a good job at attacking that.

The other thing they do a good job of is promoting fake "Clean" energy. Solar power, for example, for someone that doesn't know a whole lot about what goes into making a solar cell it sound great. As far as I've heard, though, the production of a solar plant puts out more toxic chemicals then that of a coal plant.

How about the promotion of Wind power? I have to admit that is definitely a lucrative suggestion for power (that is, if you are going crazy about killing some birds). But how reliable is it? Does the wind always blow? The answer is no, the wind is not always blowing, and for the matter the sun is not always shining. For someone running a hospital that is a wonderful situation to have when life support is running "Quick bill, get your flash light out, it looks as if the clouds are coming. Don't worry Ted, we may have had near misses in the past, but these flashlights have saved over 10 people"

"I think you know very little about these organizations and how they work."

I know enough about the agencies, I know that they wont let us bury a fiber optic cable under a small stream because the dirt kicked up might kill a snail. Of course if we pay them enough money then it doesn't matter (EPA gotta love them). I also know that they promote a way of living that is near impossible to accomplish without giving any viable methods to achieve such living. I know that they simply do not do what they advertise.

Don't get me wrong, if they would start spending less funds on protesting Nuclear plants and more of their funds on developing Energy efficient lightbulbs, washers, TV's, or cars. then I would have a higher opinion about them. If they didn't rely so much on scare tactics and guilt trips, rather focused on positive methods of encouraging cleaner living, then I wouldn't dislike them so much. But that is not the case.

Again, to set the record straight, I love energy efficient things and technologies, I think that more companies should put effort into developing such things. That, however, is not the message that a lot of these environmental organizations put across.


RE: Let me get this straight
By derdon on 4/6/2007 4:59:33 AM , Rating: 2
"Honestly Micro-organisms don't exactly take years to rebuild, especially if there is no competition for food. You would have problems with the soil needing to be washed of the pesticides, but that won't exactly be a 1000 year destruction of the soil, more like 10 at the most."

Do you know this or are you just speculating? Do you really have any idea on how serious this is!?

"How about the promotion of Wind power? I have to admit that is definitely a lucrative suggestion for power (that is, if you are going crazy about killing some birds)."

Yeah sure, suddenly when wind power becomes a topic all those that oppose environmentalism suddenly become bird lovers... A coal plant kills a lot of animals and a nuclear plant as well just because they require quite a plot of land to build on. I do know that birds get killed, but I realize that no technology will ever be perfect. Wind power is near perfect though, besides the numbers of killed birds are exaggerated. I bet there get killed more by huge modern buildings and their extensive use of glass.

"I know enough about the agencies, I know that they wont let us bury a fiber optic cable under a small stream because the dirt kicked up might kill a snail."

Nothing but rhetorics...

"I also know that they promote a way of living that is near impossible to accomplish without giving any viable methods to achieve such living. I know that they simply do not do what they advertise."

You would be surprised to find out that the way of living of a large part of the world is substantially lower than your standards. Generally, it IS possible, but certainly not admirable. But the way it is, if everyone on earth lives like the US, there would be more than 3 worlds needed to provide all the resources. GP is advocating to reduce the resource hunger. It's members are also much more aware of this, use public transport more often and try to save energy where the general public doesn't care so much. Believe me if only half the population tried to do just half like they we'd be able to live without a lot less plants already and from there we could go on and further.

"Don't get me wrong, if they would start spending less funds on protesting Nuclear plants and more of their funds on developing Energy efficient lightbulbs, washers, TV's, or cars. then I would have a higher opinion about them."

This shows how little you actually know. Greenpeace was the organization that started the development of the CFC-free fridge in 1992, when everybody else said it wouldn't be possible to do one. Read about it "greenfreeze"

"Again, to set the record straight, I love energy efficient things and technologies, I think that more companies should put effort into developing such things. That, however, is not the message that a lot of these environmental organizations put across."

These organizations often point out companies that do not and try to get them at starting with the process. Like with Apple and the computer manufacturing industry in this case.


RE: Let me get this straight
By masher2 (blog) on 4/6/2007 10:47:16 AM , Rating: 2
> "You would be surprised to find out that the way of living of a large part of the world is substantially lower than your standards"

And now we come to the REAL goal of hardcore environmentalists. It takes a while to come out, but it always does-- "lower your standard of living". I don't want to lower my standard, I want to raise it. For myself and my children both.

Environmentalism needs to return to its roots of clean air and water, and stop mucking about in neosocialist nonsense. A rising standard of living is a good thing. Stop campaigning against it.


RE: Let me get this straight
By derdon on 4/6/2007 3:06:29 PM , Rating: 2
You misunderstood environmentalism, because actually it aims at rising standards and not lowering them. It's just that we probably disagree about what constitutes such a rise. For me, being able to walk around in a nice neighborhood, having green instead of concrete next to me, clean air to breathe and healthy food to eat are things that rise my standard.
And wow, what a rise that is! I know that's a lot that I demand and there's the big question if it is even possible?
So I want to make progress in this direction, to make it happen and not having to live in a crappy and dangerous suburb, but with a 100cm Plasma TV and two SUVs in the backyard (to illustrate my point). But of course the current one is easier to achieve as it only depends on ME and MY efforts. Getting people to form a nice and friendly suburb is something that depends on everyone, hence we need to do it together.

Environmentalists are often misunderstood as people that are proclaiming "back to the roots", which I admit, some might do (for romantic reasons though), but when I look at me or Greenpeace, what we actually need to do is make a lot of progress to get to the point where we can have the things that I described on a large scale. And this is exactly the big challenge, the rising scale, population growth and then trying to increase the standard for everybody. If we again take the example of cars and traffic. Driving a car is easy and a comfortable thing with few fellows on the road but a pain in the ass if the street is full because of a traffic jam. What to do? Increase road size? How far before you say no?
For me, the solution can only be a shift to different standards and different values as we're eventually going to get stuck with the current ones. And again this is not making steps backward, but making progress, socially, economically, scientifically... well on all fronts!
Okay I'll stop now.


RE: Let me get this straight
By Cogman on 4/6/2007 11:59:55 AM , Rating: 2
"Do you know this or are you just speculating? Do you really have any idea on how serious this is!?"

I think I could ask you the same thing, What the heck do you know about microbiology? Do you realize how fast it is able to reproduce and grow? This is like basic biology, you know where you take a petri dish full of food, rub a tiny bit of sweat off of your foot and Walla, in 1-2 weeks the entire petri dish is covered with mold and bacteria. Unlike animals, Bacteria takes very small periods of time to replicate, and when it is uncontested (Enough food is available and no other bacteria is attacking it) it grows like wildfire. Yes sir, I do know what Im talking about. If you want to get the same system of bacteria living in the same soil, you just take a small amount of soil from the same area and spread it over the field. I will concede that there will be some differences because the shading from the trees is gone, but please, its not "OMG never going to be better again!".

"Yeah sure, suddenly when wind power becomes a topic all those that oppose environmentalism suddenly become bird lovers..."

Sorry, that was a typo on my behalf, I meant to say if "...you arn't going crazy about killing some birds ..." Sadly that is exactly what happens as well, environmentalists go crazy of dieing birds and just like in every situation they attack, they use "...are exaggerated." If you took a step back you would realize that is a common tactic, bluting out some scary sounding numbers and saying "Change or DIE!!!" lol, again it is those kind of tactics that make envior

"Nothing but rhetorics..."

No, my dear friend, that is policy. This isn't some company that I heard about, this is the local company in my local town. The boss of which I know quite well. I would bet you a large sum of money that if Apple had dumped x millions of dollars into environmental research or campaigns their score would magically be elevated.

"But the way it is, if everyone on earth lives like the US, there would be more than 3 worlds needed to provide all the resources."

I have heard this garbage before. Where the crap do they get statistics like this? Is it from the same place they pulled the "In the year 1990, the earth will run out of oil and we will have to start using a new type of fuel". News flash, its the year 2007, Oil consumption never went down in those years (in fact it increased at about the same rate it always has) and we still have a large amount of oil left on this planet. Of course, I think current predictions are like 2020 or something like that when we will run out of fuel again. This is nothing more then fear mongering.

"the CFC-free fridge in 1992"

WTF? Did you not read what I was talking about? That is not a more energy efficient refrigerator, just a more expencive one. In my eyes they acomplished very little with that. Oh wait, they saved the Ozone layer. BTW tell me, how is it doing now? You don't hear much about that, expecially since their research was discovered to be completly off base when the Ozone layer magically repaired itself...

Ultimately a lot of people would suffer given Greenpeace's standards (btw, you speak as an Active member of green peace, would that assumption be correct?). Currently I live in rural Idaho, not a place like most of the European nations where public transport can thrive. (In fact, most of the US is in similar situations). for a small town a car is essential for living, you kill off the small towns and you effectively kill off a lot of your farming population (Oh, but wait, that would stop the nasty energy inefficient tractors from running). If green peace had its way, everyone would have to ride a bus to where-ever, small towns would just be SOL because you couldn't justify an extensive bus system to them (even in england that was the case, small towns simply suffer). But that doesn't matter, when it comes right down to it, people and their lives don't matter to people like Greenpeace, what really matters is that we are saving the environment.


RE: Let me get this straight
By derdon on 4/6/2007 3:37:34 PM , Rating: 2
I have heard this garbage before. Where the crap do they get statistics like this? Is it from the same place they pulled the "In the year 1990, the earth will run out of oil and we will have to start using a new type of fuel"

No, it's a model called ecological footprint. You can read more about it here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_footprint
I don't say it's perfect, but it's studied scientifically and as all things in science subject to criticism. It's a model that's gaining ground and thought. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about this in the future.

"WTF? Did you not read what I was talking about? That is not a more energy efficient refrigerator, just a more expencive one. In my eyes they acomplished very little with that. Oh wait, they saved the Ozone layer."

Saving the ozone layer means saving people from skin cancer and other related diseases. The technology was quite a success and is one proof that environmental organization don't just sit there and protest. It's still just one step on the way.

"you don't hear much about that, expecially since their research was discovered to be completly off base when the Ozone layer magically repaired itself..."

The ozone hole's size almost set a new record in 2006
http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/

I feel different about the rest of the more emotional parts of what you said, but we could probably argue about this for a long time and still not come to a conclusion, so I'll just leave it at this.


"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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