Friday, November 23, 2012

Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics 2012

Each year Greenpeace publishes its guide to greener electronics just before the Thanksgiving holidays and the shopping event of the year known as Black Friday. This year is the 18th edition of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics, it profiles a number of new developments.

The Guide evaluates leading consumer electronics companies based on their commitment and progress in three environmental criteria: Energy and Climate, Greener Products, and Sustainable Operations. Click here to download the Ranking Criteria Explained (pdf).
The Greenpeace Electronics Guide scores companies on overall policies and practices – not on specific products – to provide consumers with a snapshot of the sustainability of the biggest names in the industry. Consumers want greener electronics and some of the leading technology providers have responded.

Acer rises in the rankings, thanks in part to ambitious greenhouse gas reduction commitments, both in its own operations and in its supply chain. A number of companies, including HP, Apple and Dell, have improved their performance in identifying and reducing conflict minerals within their supply chain. This edition of the Guide also integrates the evaluation of two Indian companies, HCL Infosystem and Wipro which earns the top spot in the rankings, primarily due to its climate leadership. The company excels in both renewable energy uptake for its operations and more broadly with an excellent greenhouse gas mitigation strategy. Its lobbying for renewable energy policy in India exhibits the type of corporate advocacy leadership needed to drive policy change.

While the industry is moving in the right direction, crucial and growing problems remain. The proliferation of electronic devices are a major source of waste and one of the most serious problems we face as a global society. Greenpeace has identified three serious shortcomings in the global electronics industry.

1) While take-back programs are growing the speed of collection is not keeping pace with the rate of consumption.
2) There are huge amounts of dirty energy embedded in the manufacturing and supply chains, much of it coming from East Asia.
3) Companies must also make an effort to meaningfully engage in the political process to create the ambitious action.

Click here to download the Full Scorecard (pdf) which provides detailed reviews of company performances.

Greenpeace offers the following proviso:

Remember! The most sustainable devices are the ones you don’t actually buy! Work to extend the life of your existing electronic gadgets, buy used products, and only purchase what you truly need.

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