Electronics Industry is Getting Greener

Greenpeace's latest report into the environmental friendliness of electronics manufacturers has shown promising progress, but some companies are refusing to take part.

The organisation sent out questionnaires to 20 companies about the chemicals used in the productions of PCs, mobile phones, monitors and other computer equipment and received data from all but two, with Apple and Philips the only companies to refuse to provide data.

Asus was the greenest of the companies surveyed, topping the tables in both the notebook computing list with the UL30A and monitors thanks to the VW-247H-HF. Dell scored very poorly, with the Latitude 2110 judged the most polluting netbook and the Aero the worst smartphone. Indian manufacturer WiPro also scored poorly in both desktop and notebook computers.

"Our survey shows that electronics manufacturers have made demonstrable progress over the past few years in producing products that are free of the worst toxic chemicals, more energy efficient and more easily taken back for reuse and recycling," said Renee Blanchard, toxics campaigner for Greenpeace.

"This report allows the industry to do what it does best; compete for a new perspective and innovate on environmental policies."

Overall the industry has been speeding up the elimination of both polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants, as well as other toxic chemicals and power consumption by devices was being improved faster than expected.

However, companies were still failing in two key areas: product recycling and building devices that last longer. In addition some comapnies only provided very limited information - for example Lenovo only returned data on its monitors and not its extensive PC line.

"The consumer electronics industry is committed to greening its products and practices for the benefit of consumers, communities and the overall environment," said Gary Shapiro, president of the Consumer Electronics Association.

"In the past three years, we've made great strides in our environmental efforts, by creating more green products, improving energy efficiency and deepening our commitment to electronics recycling. We know there is work remaining, and we will press forward with these initiatives in 2011 and beyond."

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