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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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By Bruno Dexter on 4/5/2007 9:12:25 PM , Rating: 2
disclosure: While I have worked for Apple in the past, nothing I post should be deemed as official Apple Policy.
1st - Do yourself a favor and actually read the GP report in full (it is 38 pg PDF - almost all charts).
If you actually research the topic you will see the scoring and methodolgy used is shaky if not outright shady.
In fact, based on the ratings there is more point bias toward simply saying the right things as opposed to NOT shipping potentially hazardous material.
The two physical compounds that GP highlights are PVC and BFR. Both are used in the manufacture of electronics and computers. Either can be found in your laptop, gameboy, cell phone etc.
Hi GP ranking company Lenovo ships machines with these compounds (and probably significantly more in actual weight) as does Apple, Dell, and Sony.The use is AN INDUSTRY STANDARD. Even green company BODYSHOP ships products with these compounds.
Apple gets really dinged for NOT PAYING lipservice. It is official policy that Apple intends to phase out the use of those compounds when a suitable replacement is developed. What Apple does not do is state an official deadline.
High GP ranking companies have committed to a firm date for phase out of the material, but as there are few viable replacement materials, there is doubt as to if those deadlines can actually be met.
The other hot issue for GP is recycling. FYI, Both loser Apple and winner Lenovo use the same exact program for battery recycling. Both offer CPU recycling and Apple will recycle iPods free of charge. In short, there is very little actually seperating the winner from the loser, but you have to actually read the report and then actually research each company to make heads or tails of GP's report.
GP's methodology seems biased and several of their standards seem very ambiguous and poorly conceived. I'd like to see a third party do some fact checking on this report. Because as it stands, that report is biased and I believe was designed for public relations reasons and not for the public good.

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