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Sony Ericsson Joins Nokia, Samsung as ‘Greener’ Electronics Makers

gp-imageThe latest update of Greenpeace International’s “Guide to Greener Electronics” indicates that the world’s biggest PC makers — Hewlett Packard, Dell and Lenovo — have again failed to meet their commitments to eliminate PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from their products by the end of 2009.

As a result, Greenpeace gave HP, Lenovo and Dell each a “penalty point” in its updated scorecard for backtracking on their commitments to eliminate these hazardous substances from their products by the end of 2009.

Meanwhile, since the last rating, Sony Ericsson has joined Nokia and Samsung among manufacturers on the green end of the scale.

The guide ranks the 17 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TV’s and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.

Greenpeace continues to call on companies to eliminate BFRs and PVC from their products, which the environmental group says are harmful throughout the entire lifecycle of a product. Phase-out reduces pollution during the production and disposal of electronics and makes products capable of being recycled in a responsible manner, said Greenpeace.

Moving up two slots to rank number 14, HP continues to lag behind other PC brands in the ranking, postponing its 2007 commitment to phase out PVC and BFRs from its computer products (excluding its server and printer lines) from 2009 to 2011. Unlike Dell and Lenovo, however, HP is not putting PVC- and BFR-reduced products on the market.

However, HP gained points by reporting that 90 percent of HP notebooks and 41 percent of desktop PCs meet the latest Energy Star standards, disclosing externally verified greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and estimating the supply-chain greenhouse gas emissions of 80 percent of its first tier suppliers.

Falling two positions to number 16, Lenovo dropped its timeline for meeting its original commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs by the end of 2010. No new timeline has been established. Lenovo scored points for its voluntary take-back program and its use of recycled plastic.

Dell remained in 13th position despite backtracking on its commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs in all its products by the end of 2009. Dell no longer has a timeline for eliminating these substances. The PC maker gained a point for announcing that 26 percent of its global electricity use now comes from renewable energy sources, up from 20 percent in 2008.

The top three ranked companies are Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson, respectively. LGE, Toshiba and Motorola move up the ranking to take 4th, 5th and 6th place. Sony drops down from 5th to 12th position, because it has not kept pace with progress made by other companies, especially on e-waste recycling performance, said Greenpeace.

Ranked number 11, Apple’s new computer lines, virtually free of PVC and completely BFR-free, demonstrate the technical feasibility and supply-chain readiness of producing alternatives to these hazardous substances, said Greenpeace. Dell, Lenovo and Acer have also stayed ahead of HP, putting models on the market that are free, or at least significantly reduced in their use, of PVC and BFRs, according to the report.

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