Greenpeace issues latest green electronics guide

Greenpeace issues latest green electronics guide

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Greenpeace International has released the 18th edition of its Guide to Greener Electronics, which evaluates the efforts of large consumer electronics companies to lessen their impact on the environment. Included in the report is how these companies are faring when it comes to product life cycle, avoidance of hazardous substances in products and offering consumers take-back programs in locales where there are no extended producer responsibility laws.

"While the industry overall has taken several strides in the right direction, crucial and growing problems remain: more people around the world are gaining access to electronic devices, and while proper electronic take-back programs proliferate, the speed of collection is not keeping pace with the rate of consumption, creating ever greater amounts of toxic e-waste," reads a blog post from Greenpeace analyst Casey Harrell introducing the report.

Wipro, an Indian electronics company making its first appearance on the international version of the guide, scored the highest, earning 7.1 points out of 10, largely for its work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing its use of renewable energy.

On issues relevant to electronics recycling, Wipro had generally strong scores. Although it scored four out of four points for running an extensive and customer-friendly take-back program, the company was dinged by Greenpeace, earning zero out of three points on product life cycle for not doing enough to extend the longevity of its products. Wipro scored four out of five for making strides in phasing out polyvinyl chloride plastic and brominated flame retardants from its products, with the report noting that the company could do more to eliminate other hazardous chemicals from its wares.

RIM scored dead last in the rankings in 16th place. The company, best known as the maker of BlackBerry cell phones and mobile devices, scored only one out of eight for its take-back programs, a one out of five for avoiding hazardous materials and zero out of three for product life cycle.

The other companies in the report had mixed scores on avoiding hazardous materials, product life cycle and take-back programs.

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