Learning from the Top Greens

Now in its 16th edition, the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics, ranks top electronics manufacturers according to their policies to be more ecologically minded.

Philips, occupying third place in this edition, has committed to eliminating PVC vinyl plastic and all brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in all of its new product models since the end of 2010. As for energy, the company has committed to decreasing its own operational carbon footprint by 25% by 2012.

Sony Ericsson, ranked second, is the best performer on the toxic chemicals. For example, it has banned the use of antimony, beryllium and phthalates in the production of its new models launched since 2008.

Nokia, who retained the top position in the ranking, has an excellent record for the elimination of toxic chemicals; its new models have been free of PVC since the end of 2005. All new models of mobile phones and accessories are on track to be free of BFRs and antimony trioxide. Another asset is their comprehensive voluntary take-back programme, with information being given to individual customers in all countries where their products are sold.

Nevertheless, every time these rankings are released, they provoke some sense of accountability with the methodology involved. But, there has been a significant increase in product benchmarking last year, and many companies realise the value of this tool for company success.