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Samsung, Toshiba ‘greenest electronics firms’

Posted: 21 Mar 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:personal computers 

The latest release of Greenpeace's "Guide to Greener Electronics," hailed Samsung Electronics and Toshiba as the top greenest electronics firm.

The report, which was first released in August 2006, ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, cellphones, TV's and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals and recycling.

The guide focuses on the companies' use of harmful chemicals in electronics that prevents their safe recycling when the products are discarded. Companies scored marks out of 30 this has then been calculated to a mark out of 10 for simplicity.

PVC, BFR-free
Samsung now moved from the number 2 spot in the last ranking to position to a joint first post. The South Korean firm scores top marks on most of the chemicals criteria and is now bringing products on the market that are free from the worst chemicals. Samsung's new LCD panels are free from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and new of handset models have circuit boards that are largely free from brominated flame retardants (BFRs), together with the housing and peripherals.

While Samsung improved on reporting of recycling obsolete products and supplies good information to consumers on what to do with discarded products, it loses points for providing voluntary take-back of electronic waste in only a few countries and for only some product groups.

Joining Samsung, Toshiba has climbed from the 6th spot to the top by improving its score on Individual Producer Responsibility, where company takes care of the electronic waste from its own-branded discarded end-of-life products. The Japanese firm also made commitments to phase out PVC plastic and BFRs from its whole product range by 2009.

Take-back service
Finnish handset maker Nokia Corp. also inched its way up from number nine to three. Greenpeace's further testing of Nokia's take-back program revealed that the company's staff are still not informed about the take-back service in Russia and India, although the service was much improved in the Philippines and Thailand. Nokia scored well on the chemicals criteria after eliminating PVC plastic from new models of mobiles and currently eliminating BFRs from the remaining applications.

Former number one Sony has dropped to the fourth position despite receiving top marks for reporting the quantities of electronic waste it recycles. Sony Ericsson also dethroned from the top post dropped to 7th, after losing points on its e-waste policy and practice. It scores well on the chemicals criteria with a timeline of Jan. 1 for eliminating BFRs in two remaining applications and substituting phthalates, beryllium and some uses of antimony compounds.

Apple continues to progress up inching up from the 11th position to the 9th, having improved its score for the new models of MacBook and MacBook Pro with the majority of internal cables free of PVC and the majority of circuit board laminates free of BFRs. The iPod maker committed to eliminate the use of PVC and BFRs in all its products by the end of 2008.

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