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Greenpeace dares CE vendors to go greener

Posted: 27 Jan 2009     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:energy efficiency  green product  recycling  take-back 

According to a new survey form Greenpeace, the greenest consumer electronic devices available on the market today have smaller environmental footprint than those sold a year ago, but the industry as a whole still has plenty of room for improvement.

"We're on the hunt for a truly green product that is free from toxic chemicals and excels in energy efficiency and durability," said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner. "We're pleased to say that the electronics industry has taken encouraging strides towards increasing the green features on some gadgets over the past year, but none stand out in all environmental categories. The race for the green winner is still on."

The report, "Green Electronics: the search continues", assesses the progress made over the past year by consumer electronic companies on their public commitments to green their products. Fifteen major electronics brands submitted 50 of their most environmentally friendly new products—mobile and smart phones, TVs, computer monitors, notebook and desktop computers, and game consoles. Greenpeace assessed and scored each of these products against a set of environmental criteria.

Take-back and recycling programmes
Greenpeace found that fewer electronic products on the market contain harmful polyvinyl chloride plastic and fewer hazardous chemicals are being used in products. LED displays, which save energy and avoid the use of mercury in backlights, are more commonplace. Manufacturers are using larger quantities of post-consumer recycled plastic in TVs and monitors, and producers have established more comprehensive voluntary take-back and recycling programmes. Most companies have also adapted quickly to the new requirements of Energy Star.

The Lenovo L2440x wide computer monitor scored highest with 6.9 points (on a 10 point scale) and is far ahead of the competition in the monitor category. Other product category leaders include the Sharp LC-52GX5 TV (5.92), the Samsung F268 mobile phone (5.45), the Nokia 6210 smart phone (5.2), the Toshiba Portégé R600 (5.57) and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M58 Desktop (5.88).

"The scores are higher and closer together this year, suggesting a more competitive race to green gadgets, but consumers still have to choose between gadgets that are green in one way but grey in another," said Harrell.

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