Microsoft, Toshiba fail to impress Greenpeace

Philips and HP have been applauded for their innovative green products

Tags: Eco-friendlyGreenHPLenovo GroupMicrosoft CorporationPanasonic CorporationToshiba Corporation
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Microsoft, Toshiba fail to impress Greenpeace Dell has also come under fire from Greenpeace in their new report, the Guide to Greener Electronics, as they have not yet produced toxin free products. Greenpeace activists unfurl a banner at Dell Computer's world headquarters. The message is for the computer company founder. (© Harry Cabluck / Greenpeace)
By  Georgina Enzer Published  October 27, 2010

Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics has revealed that Toshiba and Microsoft have failed to improve their green credentials, while Philips and HP have delivered on their promises and introduced safer, more environmentally friendly products.

The latest edition of the Guide shows a significant separation between companies that are failing to keep their environmental commitments and those that are making giant leaps forward by phasing out toxic chemicals, increasing energy efficiency and working on recycling operetions for older products.

Greenpeace has applauded Philips for introducing a TV completely free of both PVC and brominated flame retardants (BFRs), both of which have harmful effects on humans and animals. The Econova TV means that the company is likely to phase out products using these dangerous substances by 2011,far ahead of other manufacturers.

"There is a growing gulf between companies that are consistently innovating and leading by releasing greener products and companies that just make big promises," said Greenpeace toxics campaigner Casey Harrell. "By launching a PVC- and BFR-free TV, Philips has overcome the technical hurdles to removing these toxic substances from this product group - there is now no excuse for other TV manufacturers not to follow." 

Acer, the Indian companies Wipro and HCL, and HP, have all debuted products free of PVC and BFRs. In fact, HP already has several lines of notebooks, desktops and most recently a PVC-free printer.

Companies in Greenpeace's bad books include Toshiba, LGE, Samsung, Dell and Lenovo who still have no whole PC product lines free from these substances.  

Toshiba has been given its second penalty point this year for misleading customers about its green credentials, while Microsoft has been awarded a second penalty point for backtracking on previous promises to remove BFRs and PVC from its product lines.

Mobile phone manufacturers, Nokia and Sony Ericsson are the top of the green list for producing products free of the most hazardous substances, including PVC/BFRs, antimony, beryllium, and phthlates.

Apple takes the biggest drop, as other companies in this rapidly developing sector have overtaken it in terms of producing cleaner products. LGE and Toshiba, both previously amongst the leaders, now take 14th and 16th place.

Panasonic has been rewarded for initiating voluntary TV recycling in India, the first programme of its kind for TVs outside the OECD and another first for TVs. However, the industry as a whole is failing to expand current recycling programmes.

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