Monday, January 31, 2011

Green Jobs for America

Green Jobs for America is a national campaign to educate the public about the need for (government) investments in green jobs. This national educational initiative is led by Blue Green Alliance, United Steelworkers, Sierra Club and NRDC and other partners.

The realization that green jobs have a vital role to play in America's employment picture is nothing new. A 2008 report indicated that green jobs fight global warming and help put an end to America's dependence on fossil fuels.

The green jobs report was created by the University of Massachusetts' Political Economy Research Institute, it is titled, Job Opportunities for the Green Economy: A State-by-State Picture of Occupations that Gain from Green Investments. Read the full report (pdf)

The report examined 12 states and the people employed in occupations affected by six green economic strategies: building retrofitting, mass transit, energy-efficient automobiles, wind power, solar power and cellulosic biofuels. It also looked at what the average wages are in each state for these jobs.

The report indicates that millions of US workers, across a wide range of occupations, states, and income and skill levels, will benefit from efforts to transform the United States into a green economy. Read the national report and press release.

The Green Jobs for America campaign is at work in twelve states: Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
It is clear to all but the willfully ignorant, that millions of US workers will all benefit from transforming the United States into a green economy.

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Saturday, January 29, 2011

Video of White House Policy Briefing on Green



A January 18, 2011, White House Policy Briefing on the greening of America's cities. This video covers a wide range of government ideas and initiatives, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and retrofits.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hot Green Jobs for 2011 and Beyond

Here is a review of some of the sectors and careers that will benefit from green jobs investments. According to a UNEP report, this includes, renewable energy, construction, transportation, food, agriculture, commodities, and forestry.

President Obama made his commitment to green jobs clear in his State of the Union Address. The US Department of Labor is working with the community, labor and industry to support green job growth.

Here are some of the areas where green careers are most in demand for 2011 and beyond:

Sustainable business management, recycling, solar energy, wind energy, smart grid, energy efficiency, retrofitting, green building, sustainable farming, sustainable forestry, conservation biology, bio-mimicry, green chemistry, public transportation, waste management, urban planning and sustainable systems development.

Many of these positions require special training. A large number of colleges and technical institutes offer complete career training. See The Green Market's Searchable Environmental Education Resources for a wide range of sustainable and green education options in the US and around the world. One of the best degrees with the widest applicability is a Green MBA.

Preparing for a job in these high growth fields increases employment, grows the economy and contributes to a healthier planet.


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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Government Investment Green Jobs and Economic Recovery

Green jobs can fuel economic recovery. This is the logic behind President Obama's pledge to invest $150 billion to create 5 million green jobs in the US over the next 10 years.

The convergence of automation and globalization have permanently eliminated millions of jobs. High rates of unemployment are a function of a changing global economy.The green economy can create jobs and fuel the ongoing recovery.

Research from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) has indicated that transitioning to a sustainable, low-carbon economy can create millions of green jobs. The US Department of Labor has projected significant growth in green jobs between 2008-2018.

If these predictions are to materialize, governments will have to invest. This means governments will have to set and meet ambitious goals that will help to accelerate the growth of the green economy. President Obama made clear his commitment in his 2011 State of the Union address when he announced his desire to see America pursue clean energy, electric vehicles and an end to oil subsidies.


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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Green Government Investments and Job Creation

The jobs creation potential of the green economy is staggering. In the US, President Obama has pledged $150 billion over 10 tears to create five million green-collar jobs.

Green-collar jobs are well paying positions that benefit the environment while cutting pollution and reducing waste.

According to Shari Shapiro, associate with Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP, the numbers show that green stimulus investments are among the most cost-effective ways to spend the Recovery Act dollars and create jobs.

Green industries include everything from renewable energy to electronics manufacturing.
We are entering an era of unprecedented growth in the green market, and this growth will supply millions of jobs. The emergence of green industries will also have a ripple effect that will create countless employment opportunities. These include teaching positions required to train people for their new roles in the emerging green economy.

Governments around the world are seeing green investments as a way of putting people to work and preparing for the future. At present, America is being outspent by many of the world's major powers. However, the green investments that President Obama outlined in his 2011 State of the Union Address would drive job creation.

Government investment in green job creation is a winning strategy. As government investment helps green industries to grow they would benefit from economies of scale and this would bring down costs. Greater competition would also drive innovation.


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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Highlights of Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address: Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles and Eliminating Oil Subsidies

President Barack Obama's State of the Union address focused on innovation, education and infrastructure. He also mentioned eliminating oil subsidies, as well as government investment in clean energy and electric vehicles (EVs).

Here are the environmental highlights of the speech:

“The future is ours to win but we cant get there by standing still....We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world, we need to make America the best place for doing business....that is how we win the future."

Infrastructure was a priority in the address, the President proposed “redoubling" infrastructure investments including high speed rail and high speed internet.

From an environmental point of view, the defining moment of the speech came when he said with emphasis, we will invest “especially in clean energy technology." He then showcased a solar start-up that reinvented itself. He continued saying, “Already, we're seeing the promise of renewable energy."

“Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they're selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: By 2035, 80 percent of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources," the President said.

He also indicated that he wants to see US leadership in EVs, so that America can be, “the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015."

Perhaps most importantly, to help find ways of paying for the governments green investments, he wants to eliminate oil subsidies.

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Video Inside the White House: The State of the Union Address 2011



This video offers some of the backstory behind President Obama's upcoming State of the Union Address. As President Obama prepares his second official State of the Union address he knows that he will face a far more Republican Congress than his first. He also knows that he will have to zero in on the legislative priorities that will ultimately set the course for the remainder of his first term. See the Highlights of Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address: Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles and Eliminating Oil Subsidies.

Sustainable Brands Conference 2011

Registration is now open for the Sustainable Brands Conference 2011, which will take place June 7-10. The Sustainable Brands Conference studies innovative approaches to sustainability. It is the preeminent international conference for executives who are looking to understand the market drivers and leading-edge strategies, tactics and tools for building business and brand value.

Sustainable Brands is attended by the brand leaders of tomorrow, including over 700 leading sustainability, brand strategy, product design and communications executives from top global brands as well as bonfire start-ups, NGOs and leading solutions providers. Here are some of the leading sustainable brand innovators who came to Sustainable Brands '10.

Speakers at the conference will address dynamic economic, environmental and societal realities as they pertain to what they do, how they do it and the way that they communicate.

The conference will also address the following issues:
How 'design for behavior change' is being implemented in product and communications design to help support consumer desire to do the right thing.
How Open Innovation is set to pave the way for faster innovation by smart, strategic brand leaders.
What new tools are coming to market to help you manage, measure and report your environmental impact.
Why CSR as we know it is dead and what comes next.
Why today's youth will ensure tomorrow's sustainable brand marketplace.
Who's building successful, collaborative cross-sector partnerships, and how they've set down their spears to build a productive relationship
The value of brand communities or tribes and why sustainable brands are well equipped to build one
How consumers really value cause marketing campaigns
What's the latest on putting social media to work to build your brand more economically while strengthening your relationship with stakeholders


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Monday, January 24, 2011

Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference

The Good Jobs, Green Jobs National Conference is one of the largest and most diverse annual gatherings of green economy stakeholders in the US. It is scheduled to take place in Washington DC from February 8 - 10, 2011.

The 2010 Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference brought together nearly 3,000 people from across the country to turn ideas into action and build a new green economy in the United States.
The 2011 event will include discussions on America’s infrastructure challenges and opportunities. It will also address how green transportation and transit will create good jobs, protect the environment and ensure that America remains globally competitive.

Transportation Secretary LaHood, EPA Administrator Jackson and others will speak at 2011 Green Jobs Conference.

The 2011 workshop program concentrates on building the green economy, including: Green Infrastructure and Transportation; State and Local Initiatives and Partnerships; Workforce, Economic Development and Youth Education; Emerging Green Sectors: Recycling, Chemicals, Water, Agriculture and Other Growing Industries; Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency; Business, Investments and New Markets; and Clean Energy Manufacturing. See the conference agenda for more information.

Good Jobs Green Jobs also gives participants a free space in which they can host meetings or events at the Conference. Click here to learn more or to request a space. To attend the Good Jobs, Green Jobs Conference, go to registration.


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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dream Green Job Workshop

On Friday, January 21, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina, Net Impact Jenkins hosted a free three hour workshop on green jobs. Net Impact Jenkins is the North Carolina State University graduate student chapter of Net Impact, an international nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire, educate, and equip individuals to use the power of business to create a more socially and environmentally sustainable world. Spanning six continents, thier membership makes up one of the most influential networks of students, and professionals in existence today.

Net Impact members are the current and emerging leaders in CSR, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, international development, and environmental sustainability who are actively improving the world

The Dream Green Job Workshop event helped students explore career opportunities in the growing sustainability market segment. The workshop explored the following topics:

Career options in the green market
How to get plugged into the green network
Training programs
Certifications
Financial resources/grants

Through events like the Green Dream Job Workshop, Net Impact is preparing the business leaders of tomorrow for a more sustainable world.


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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Video: What is Sustainable Furniture



Sustainable furniture is in demand by the informed consumer, but the question they ask in this video is what exactly do we mean by sustainable or green furniture. The most important characteristic is durability. Furniture that is value engineered to be good quality, lasts for a long time and therefore requires less raw materials to make replacements. Teak wood is amongst the best examples of a durable wood which can be used to create an heirloom peace that lasts a very long time. In its simplest essence, sustainability involves the use of durable materials that are healthier and leave a smaller environmental footprint.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Sustainable Furniture at the Las Vegas Market

The Las Vegas Market, is a premiere furniture show taking place from January 24 to 27, 2011, in the Market Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show is frequented by buyers, designers and industry professionals from around the world. This year's show will feature green business strategies.

The Las Vegas Market includes seminars which are categorized into tracks. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) will offer several programs and events focused on sustainable home furnishings and education. The Sustainable Furnishing Council (SFC) is also sponsoring programming.

On on Tuesday, Jan. 25, there will be three educational sustainable furniture seminars presented by the SFC. The first is "2010 Consumer Survey Results" presented by Jeff Hiller, SFC president. It will take place between 10:00 am - 11:00 am in building C, C336. The second is "Luxury Green Design" will be presented by Lori Dennis, SFC DESIGNINGreen Leader & author of Green Interior Design. It will take place between 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm in building C, C-332. The third is "Selling "Green" Truthfully and Legally," subtitled What consumers Want to know and Retailers, Manufacturers and Suppliers Need to Know! This seminar will be presented by Vicki Worden, of Worden Associates. It will take place between 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm in building C, C-336

On Thursday, Jan. 27, GREENleaders, Certified Sustainability Training, will be taught by Jeff Hiller, SFC president from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm in building C, C-324. Register HERE. See the full calendar of events and seminars.

SFC members exhibiting at the 2011 Winter Las Vegas Market include:

Anatomic Global Inc. www.ecomemoryfoam.com C-1584
Asian Art Imports www.asianartimports.com B-0201-37
Bassett Mirror Company www.bassettmirror.com B-1166
Cambridge Mills www.harden.com B-200-23
Copper Instincts (formerly Manana Export) www.copperinstincts.com C1376E/F
Creative Elegance www.creativeelegance.com B-0670
Cresent Enterprises, Inc. www.cresent.com C-1138
Elite Leather www.eliteleather.com A-0925
Diamond Mattress www.diamondmattress.com C-1328
Fairmont Designs www.fairmontdesigns.com A754
French Heritage www.frenchheritage.com C-0156G.
Romano, Inc. www.gromano.com B-0201-19
Gat Creek www.gatcreek.com B-0158
GrassRoots www.grassrootsimports.com B-0168
Greenington LLC www.greenington.com B-0251-12
Harden Furniture www.harden.com B-200-23
Home Trends & Design Ltd. www.htddirect.com B-0155
Kathy Ireland Home by Omnia Furniture www.omnialeather.com A256, A242, A238]
Lorts www.lorts.com C-0188
Mountain Woods Furniture www.mountainwoodsfurniture.com C1376M/
NNatura World www.naturaworld.com A-0946
Palecek www.palecek.com A132
Phillips Collection, The www.phillipscollection.com C-0184, C-0140,A202
Rowe Fine Furniture, Inc. www.rowefurniture.com C-1305
Simply Amish www.simplyamish.com C-1140
Southern Enterprises www.seidal.com B-0846
Specialty Sleep Association www.sleepinformation.org C-1350
The Futon Shop www.thefutonshop.com A-716
Twin-Star Intl. ClassicFlame/Tresanti www.classicflame.com A548
Universal Bedlegs, Inc. www.universalbedlegs.com A836
Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company B-1080
Western Home Furnishings Assn. www.whfa.org C-488, C-496


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Thursday, January 20, 2011

The State of the Sustainable Furniture Industry

While the furniture industry has made great strides in recent years, there are major impediments preventing the industry from going green. This was illustrated at the recent Canadian Home Furnishing Market (TCHFM) trade show that took place in Toronto, Canada between January 14 and 18, 2011. TCHFM is the oldest and most prestigious furniture trade fair in Canada and although it is a showcase for upcoming trends, with very few exceptions, green furniture was conspicuously absent at this year's show.

The trade show revealed that while the furniture industry may be getting greener, increased costs, a slow economy, consumer ignorance, and the absence of American legislation are making it harder for furniture manufacturers to go green.

One sustainable furniture manufacturer that was present at the TCHFM trade show was Greenington LLC. They manufacture a wide range of highly aesthetic quality furniture using only Moso bamboo which is stronger and harder than Oak. From processing the raw bamboo to the final product, they are ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 certified. With more than 14 years experience, they are the leading sustainable furniture company in the industry.

With the exception of companies like Greenington, there was very little green on display at the TCHFM trade show. The sad truth is that most furniture manufacturers are not very green. At the show, some manufacturers voiced the concern that if they market green furniture, they will be accused of greenwashing due to the fact that others aspects of their furniture manufacturing are not very green.

Two primary certification boards help the furniture industry manage the issues surrounding environmental sustainability:

1. The Sustainable Furnishing Council (SFC) provides clarification and resources on furniture that is green, eco-friendly, environmentally safe and sustainable. SFC is the number one organization in green furnishings, it is a non-profit coalition of suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, and designers formed to promote sustainable practices with the best networking and education in the industry.

Their education programs include GREENleaders Certified Sustainability Training program which is offered as a live 6-hour program at various locations. This is the most comprehensive training program available in green home furnishings, it provides manufacturers, reps, retailers and designers with the knowledge and credentials to become experts in sustainability.

SFC also provides searchable resources to:
Find a green manufacturer
Find a green retailer
Find a green designer

2. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) helps to reduce the environmental impact of harvesting wood including furniture made from wood. This organization reduces habitat destruction, water pollution and the displacement of indigenous peoples due to logging. Members who have earned FSC certification improve the practice of forestry by reducing the negative impact of logging through managing and protecting forests. Products bearing the FSC logo, guarantee that the wood is from a certified well-managed forest.

FSC also provides searchable resources to
Find FSC-certified products
Find FSC retailers
Find FSC certificate holders

The efforts of the SFC and the FSC have proven insufficient on their own. Furniture manufactures indicate that they are waiting for legislation before they go green, while at the same time they decry the new green standards introduced in California.

California has adopted new regulations that restrict the use of formaldehyde in particle boards used in furniture construction. Formaldehyde is widely used in particle boards but the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified formaldehyde as carcinogenic to humans. California's Air Resources Board (ARB) found that one of the major sources of exposure to formaldehyde is from composite wood products like particle boards.

In California new emission standards were implemented on January 1, 2009, they reduce formaldehyde emissions from furniture and other composite wood products.

These new rules have significantly increased costs for manufacturers. According to one manufacturer at the TCHFM trade show, the new emissions standards have increased their costs by approximately 6%. The same manufacturer noted that consumers are oblivious to the increased cost of manufacturing as well as the new composite wood product rules.

Increased costs are causing many manufacturers to resist the trend towards more environmentally responsible furniture, however California may offer a glimpse into the future of furniture manufacturing.

The best way to move forward is to help the sustainable furniture industry grow so that it can benefit from economies of scale, (reduced cost of production due to mass production). Both manufacturers and retailers can help grow the sustainable furniture market by educating themselves as well as consumers.

Perhaps most importantly, legislation is required to mandate these standards on a national level. However, furniture manufacturers that wait for legislation risk being punished in the marketplace if they are perceived as coming to the table too late.


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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Odd Yet Effective Green Inventions

Here are nine strange yet useful inventions that are geared towards energy generation, efficiency or diminishing environmental impacts. 

An energy generating soccer ball: Known as the sOccket, this invention is a fully functional soccer ball that uses the kinetic energy generated during a soccer game to build up a charge in its built-in battery. This battery can then by used to power small devices like cell phones.

A bio robot fridge: This new Electrolux concept makes use of “bio robots” suspended in gel to cool food and drink in a unique, door-less fridge system. Four times smaller than a conventional refrigerator, the Bio Robot cools biopolymer gel through luminescence. The non sticky, odourless gel morphs around products to create a separate pod that suspends items. The fridge operates without a motor and comes in different sizes that can be hung vertically, horizontally, and even on the ceiling.

A method of harnessing wind vibration: This small scale wind energy charger harvests the vibration of the wind to power smart building sensors. A company called Humdinger Wind Energy LLC, has invented a device called the microBelt. It is a piezoelectric turbine-based system that is 10 times more effective at gathering energy than other systems of the same size. The system uses aeroelastic flutter and vibration of a membrane rather than a spinning turbine. It is intended to replace the batteries used in wireless sensor networks (WSN). It has a long life span of 20 years and is ideal for HVAC units.

A solar powered DIY washing machine: This project was developed by students at the École Supérieure d’Art d’Aix-en-Provence in France. They built a solar-powered washing machine using only materials available in the Saharan desert. What makes this project so interesting is the fact that it has been developed from readily available materials for the 2 billion people in the world who do not have access to some of the basic amenities including clean water and electricity.

Using human remains as fertilizer: This technique transforms human corpes into 200 gallons of liquid that can be used as fertilizer. With approximately 150000 people dying each day (62 million people dying each year), human remains are a significant source of toxic chemicals. A company called Resomation Ltd., has developed a process of disposing of human corpses that uses alkaline hydrolysis, however, unlike cremation and traditional burial, alkaline hydrolysis doesn’t lead to toxic chemicals like dioxin and formaldehyde being released into the atmosphere or water supply. It also uses 80 percent less energy than standard cremation.

An Eco-friendly coffin: This coffin lowers the environmental impact of your burial. Created by Ecoffins, these coffins use natural products like bamboo, willow branches, banana leaves and pine planks. They are designed to decompose fairly quickly and are not made with any products that could damage the surrounding soil.

An electric YikeBike ‘mini-farthing,’: This electric vehicle is a cross between an e-bike and a Segway. The YikeBike mini-farthing is the smallest, and at 10kg, the lightest electric folding bike in the world, enabling people to take it on buses, trains, and cars and store it easily under a desk or in a cupboard.

The ONDA Urinal Hand Washing Station: This invention uses uses only half the water needed for conventional urinals. With the growing scarcity of water and millions of urinals in the world, this system could make big difference. When the urinal is flushed, water first passes through a space for hand washing, then the same water is flushed to the urinal portion of the system and is disposed of as waste water.

The waterless urinal: This novel system uses gravity to deliver urine into the waste water system. With water shortages on the increase these urinals are an important way of conserving potable water. Distributors say the break-even point for most facilities who install waterless urinals is achieved within the first 12 to 24 months.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

10 Best Eco-Inventions of 2010

Green inventions are being driven by market demand for products that enhance efficiency and reduce pollution. As the world recovers from a devastating recession, these inventions are helping to power the growth of national economies. In the UK, an expedited patent process has been introduced to fast track green inventions. Around the world people are innovating sustainable processes and creating green inventions. Here is a summary of some of the best green inventions of 2010.

1. Carbon Absorbent Foam is the winner of the 2010 Earth Awards. This foam can grab carbon out of the air and lock it away as a sugar. It is ideally suited to be placed in smokestacks to remove carbon before it is emitted into the atmosphere.

2. eCoupled Wireless Tesla Charger is a new system capable of charging Tesla's electric vehicles without wires or plugs. This system will recharge Tesla's electric vehicles via an induction pad at distances up to 4".

3. nPower PEG is a kinetic energy charger. It is the world's first handheld charger that captures and stores an individual's kinetic energy. This tiny power charger capture kinetic energy from daily activities and transforms it into electricity that can power mobile gadgets.

4. Solar Charger that Runs Devices Directly. Developed by Suntactics, this new portable solar charger is powerful enough to charge your phone and other mobile gadets using nothing but solar energy.

5. IDAPT Universal Gadget Charger is made from recycled materials and is able to power almost all wireless devices.

6. Solar Power Parking Meters: In LA, new solar-powered, wireless-connected, single-space parking meters take coins or cards.

7. Biodegradable Motor Oil Although it was developed a few years ago by Green Earth Technologies, in 2010 they began running their first TV ads. The biodegradable motor oil is made out of a mixture of beef tallow and plant ingredients.

8. Polli Bricks – a low-carbon form of cladding made from recycled plastic bottles that can be wrapped around buildings to insulate them. They come studded with solar-power LED lights and cost around ten times less than conventional cladding.

9. The Sustainable Shell, a biodegradable home that can be built from the soil on which it sits. These design principles can help anyone build a strong, sustainable shelter.

10. A Malaysian designer has created a range of "KAYU" sunglasses which are hand-crafted from bamboo – a fast-growing, biodegradable and low-carbon alternative to plastic. For every pair of sunglasses bought, Lim donates $20 towards surgery that restores sight in the developing world.

Green inventions are growing and it is getting easier to bring green inventions to market. Although there are numerous sites designed to connect VC Investors with great ideas, a site known as OnGreen is looking to become the world’s largest database specializing in green inventions. This site creates funding opportunities for green inventors.


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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Greenpeace's Ranking of Electronic Companies

Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics ranks companies according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. From best to worst, here are Greenpeace`s rankings of 18 electronic manufacturers.

1. Nokia earns first place for the second year in a row. Nokia does best on the toxic chemicals criteria, followed by energy, and does least well on e-waste issues. All Nokia's new mobile phones have been free of PVC since the end of 2005, and all phones and accessories launched in 2010 are on track to be free of brominated compounds, chlorinated flame retardants and antimony trioxide. However, Nokia is not in full support of the RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics) 2.0 Directive.

Nokia background Nokia report PDF

2. Sony Ericsson remains in 2nd place for the second year in a row. The company is first in the toxic chemicals criteria and is the only company with a perfect score. It also does well on energy. All Sony Ericsson products are already free from most PVCs and brominated compounds. In 2008 Sony Ericsson banned antimony, beryllium and phthalates from new models. Sony Ericsson is lobbying in the EU for the revision of the RoHS to include a 3 to 5 year timeline for further restrictions on organo-chlorine and bromine substances.

Sony Ericsson background Sony Ericsson report PDF

3. Although Philips has improved over last year, it remains in 3rd place. Philips has an LED TV that is free from PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), the first product in this category to be free from these hazardous substances. Philips also has several other products that are PVC and BFR-free. The company has been Beryllium free since 2008. However, it fails to support the need for the RoHS 2.0 Directive.

Philips background Philips report PDF

4. HP is in 4th place as a result of its progress in bringing products that are free from PVC and BFRs onto the market and a new commitment to phase out beryllium and compounds by July 2011. HP also scores well for its support for improvements to the revised EU RoHS Directive (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in electronics).

HP background HP report PDF

5. Samsung is in 5th place as a result of its improvements in its score on chemicals. However, the company was penalized for backtracking on its commitment to eliminate brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in new models of all products by January 2010 and PVC vinyl plastic by end of 2010.

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6. Motorola in in 6th place, the company scores relatively well on the chemicals criteria and has a goal to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), though only in some mobile devices and not all its products introduced after 2010. the A45 ECO and the GRASP; all chargers are also free from PVC and BFRs. For more points Motorola needs to complete the phase out of BFRs in mobile phones and start working on the phase out of PVC and BFRs in its other products. It also fails to support the need for RoHS 2.0.

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6. Panasonic stays in 6th place (together with Sony and Motorola), but has improved over last year due to gains in the voluntary take-back and the first take back of TVs in a non-OECD country. It is still weakest on the criteria relating to e-waste and recycling and scores best on the chemicals and energy criteria. Panasonic still has products containing PVC and only a few examples of products free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs). It also fails to show support for improvements to the revised EU RoHS Directive 2.0.

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6. Sony stays in joint 6th place, (alongside Panasonic and Motorola). Sony has gained over last year for providing verification for its CSR report that also includes its calculations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Sony does relatively well on chemicals with models on the market that are partially free of PVC and BFRs. It has yet to set a timeline for eliminating all phthalates, beryllium copper and antimony and its compounds. Nor has Sony show support for bans on PVC vinyl plastic and brominated compounds.

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7. Apple does best on the toxic chemicals criteria. All Apple products are now free of PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Apple lobbies the EU for a ban on PVC, chlorinated flame retardants and CFRs and BFRs. However, the company has yet to make a public declaration related to organo- chlorine, bromine compounds, nor has it come out clearly in favor of immediate restrictions on PVC and BFRs. Apple provides insufficient disclosure of information on the flow of their supply chain as well as the future toxic chemical phase-out plans.

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8. Dell increases maintains its 10th place position, gaining points on both the chemicals and the e-waste criteria. However, Dell backtracked on its commitment to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in all its products by the end of 2009. Dell has been very good at proactive advocacy in its support for restrictions on PVC and BFRs in the revised EU RoHS Directive. In total it has 35 PVC/BFR reduced or PVC/BFR-free products. However, its current commitment to eliminate PVC and BFRs by the end of 2011 is limited to computing products.

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9. Although Sharp kept the same score, it drops to 11th place from 9th due to strong competition. It has succeed in the verification of its CSR report which includes calculation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Sharp also scores relatively well for its policy and practice on toxic chemical issues, however there is a lack of clarity on whether the commitment to eliminate phthalates relates to all phthalates or just three. Sharp also fails to show support for improvements to the revised EU RoHS Directive. It continues to score poorly for Chemicals Management in part due to a lack of transparency and confusion about its stance on eliminating BFRs.

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10. Acer scores most points for its efforts on toxic chemicals. It is proactively supporting improvements to the revised EU RoHS Directive. The company has meeting its goal of eliminating PVC and BFRs in all products. Although many Acer products do not contain BFRs and PVCs some still do. Acer plans to phase out PVC vinyl plastic and BFRs only for personal and mobile computing products by 2011 and not all products. The company is rewarded for its commitment to phase out all phthalates, beryllium and compounds and antimony and compounds in all new products by 2012.

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11. Fujitsu moves up to 13th place from 15th, this increase is due the company's adoption of a target for reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 6 percent below levels by the end of 2012 and third party verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Fujitsu scores highest on energy issues, it supports the need for GHG emissions to peak by 2015 and for industrialized countries to cut GHG emissions by up to 30 percent. All of its notebook and tablet PCs comply with the latest Energy Star standard. Fujitsu reports GHG emissions from its own operations for 2008, which have reduced from 2007. Although it has a new target to increase its use of renewable energy sources, figures for the use of renewable energy as a percentage were only provided for Europe, where at least 15 percent of purchased electricity was renewable in 2007.

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12. LG Electronics continues to fall down the ranking, from 12th place to 14th, It backtracked on its commitment to have all its products free of PVC and BFRs by the end of 2010. LG's mobile phones were made free of these toxic substances as of 2010, The company has committed to eliminating the use of PVC, BFRs, phthalates and antimony everything else will wait until 2012, except household appliances which will come online in 2014. The use of beryllium oxide in mobile phones has already been phased out and other kinds of beryllium compounds will be banned by 2012. Except for one mobile phone, the company failed to bring a PVC/BFR free products onto the market. LGE has yet to show support for the RoHS Directive.

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13. Lenovo rises up the ranking to 14th position from 17th, the company has backtracked on its commitment to eliminate PVC vinyl plastic and BFRs in all its products by the end of 2009. However, Lenovo has made significant progress on three of the energy criteria, Although as yet unverified, it now supports the need for global emissions of GHGs to peak by 2015, with a 30 percent reduction in emissions from industrialized countries by 2020 and a 50 percent reduction by 2050, relative to 1990. It has set its own targets for reducing GHG emissions and it also reports the percentage of its products that meeting or exceeding the latest Energy Star standards.

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14. Toshiba from 14th place to 16th, due to its backtracking on its commitment to bring to market new models of all its consumer electronics products free of PVC vinyl plastic and BFRs. by 1 April 2010, its own timeline for meeting this commitment; the second for misleading its customers and Greenpeace by not admitting that it would not meet its public commitment until the timeline for that commitment had passed. It has failed to provide a new timeline, which means there is no longer a commitment to eliminate these harmful substances.

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15. Microsoft drops to 17th place from 16th as a result of backtracking on its commitment to phase out BFRs and PVC by the end of 2010. Its timeline for phasing out BFRs and phthalates in all products is 2012 but its commitment to phasing out PVC is not clear. As yet it has no products that are completely free from PVC and BFRs. Commitments on the phase out of hazardous substances are not being clearly communicated to its suppliers in its Restricted Substances for Hardware specification. It also fails to show support for RoHS Directive.

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16. Nintendo does well on chemicals, some of its consoles have PVC-free internal wiring. It has banned phthalates and is monitoring use of antimony and beryllium. Although it is endeavoring to eliminate the use of PVC, it has not set a timeline for its phase-out. Although Nintendo discloses the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of its own operations, it has increased carbon (CO2) emissions two years in a row despite a commitment to cut CO2 emissions and other greenhouse gases by 2 percent over each previous year. Emissions in 2007 increased by 1.5 percent compared to 2006, following a rise of 6 percent in 2006.

Nintendo background Nintendo report PDF


Related Post
Greenpeace's Best Green Electronics

Friday, January 14, 2011

Greenpeace's Best Green Electronics

Greenpeace's product survey lists the greenest electronics available to consumers as of the first quarter of 2011. These products were ranked according to their minimization of hazardous substances and energy efficiency. Greenpeace also assessed these products according to how easy they are to recycle as well as the energy they require for production.

According to Greenpeace, the electronics industry is getting greener. Renee Blanchard, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner said,"our survey shows that electronics manufacturers have made demonstrable progress over the past few years by producing products that are free of the worst toxic chemicals, more energy efficient and more easily taken back for reuse or recycling. Major brands are responding to consumer demand for greener gadgets, and we expect them to continue to innovate and make all their products, and not just a niche few, with these higher green standards."

Greenpeace tested the greenest models submitted by 14 companies and presented their findings in their product survey. This report evaluated the greenest desktop computers, computer monitors, notebook computers, netbook computers, smartphones, mobile phones and televisions. Here are the best green electronics in each category.

Desktop Computer: HP Compaq 6005 Pro
Computer Monitor: Asus VW-247H-HF
Notebook Computer: Asus UL30A
Netbook Computer: Acer TM8172
Smartphone: Sony Ericsson Aspen
Mobile Phone: Samsung GT-S75550