CE industry warned to get serious over green issues

Most consumer electronics companies have been slow to get serious about climate change – according to a new study by Greenpeace. According to the report - only a minority of companies are really leading on energy and climate change.

The study claims that Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Samsung, Nintendo and LG Electronics are lagging behind, with no plans to cut absolute emissions from their own operations and no support for the targets and timelines needed to avoid catastrophic climate change.

“Sadly it appears that the consumer electronics industry is much better at rhetoric than facing the reality that absolute emission cuts are urgently needed,” said Greenpeace International Climate & Energy campaigner Mel Francis.

“It is disappointing that such innovative and fast-changing companies are moving so slowly, when they could be turning the regulation we need on global emissions into a golden business opportunity.”

According to the environmental pressure group, only three consumer electronics companies - Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC), Philips and Sharp - support the level of cuts in greenhouse gases that science requires.

Philips and Hewlett Packard (HP) get top marks for committing to making absolute reductions in their own greenhouse gas emissions from the product manufacture and supply chain, but fall down on the level of toxins in their products.

Many companies gain points from their products’ efficiency improvements - half of the 18 ranked brands now score over 5/10 in the guide. However, only three commit to making cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from their own operations.

Most companies use little renewable energy, even though some manufacture solar panels – the report alleges. Nokia, which remains in pole position, sources a quarter of its total electricity use from renewable energy and is committed to sourcing 50 percent by 2010. Other brands with points for renewable energy use are FSC, Microsoft, Toshiba, Motorola and Philips.

The biggest moves up the ranking are Motorola, (from 15th to joint 7th), Toshiba (from 7th to 3rd) and Sharp, (up from 16th to 10th). The companies falling down the ranking are the PC brands Acer, Dell, HP and Apple.

Although Apple drops a place, it has improved its total score because of better reporting on the carbon footprint of its products, and although not scoring any extra points, its new iPods are now free of both PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs).

“Greenpeace is calling for all companies to eliminate e-waste and get serious on energy issues,” said Iza Kruszewska, Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner. “It’s not good enough to just simply comply with regulation – to be truly green, the sector must step up to the challenge and show leadership.”

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