Greenpeace Rankings Slice Apple

    August 29, 2006

The controversial group Greenpeace has published a Guide to Consumer Electronics, and Apple and Lenovo aren’t happy about it. A number of companies were “ranked on their use of toxic chemicals and electronic waste (e-waste) policies,” and those two corporations placed last.

“For a company that claims to lead on production design, Apple scores badly on almost all criteria,” one Greenpeace page asserted. “Apple performs poorly on product take back and recycling, with the exeption of reporting on the amounts of its electronic waste recycled.” In a CNET article, an Apple spokesperson had the opportunity to refute those charges.

“Apple has a strong environmental track record and has led the industry in restricting and banning toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, as well as many BFRs (brominated flame retardants),” the representative maintained. “We have also completely eliminated CRT monitors, which contain lead, from our product line.”

Lenovo, which actually ranked numerically lower than Apple, was granted a kinder wording: “needs to do better on all criteria.” But none of the companies had cause to rejoice over the report. Even Nokia and Dell, which tied for first, “scraped a barely respectable score” of 7.

“With a [sic] average score of only 4/10 it is clear that the electronics industry has a long way to go before it can make any claims to being a green industry,” the Greenpeace site stated.

Of course, the organization’s reputation is, um, subject to debate. And by its own admission, “companies are scored solely on information publicly available on their global websites,” so if Apple has a secret recycling program, it didn’t receive any credit for the effort. Still, the Guide to Greener Electronics is an interesting assessment of some of the leading names in the industry.


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Doug is a staff writer for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest eBusiness news.