Those rainbow warriors/whiners/heroes/potheads/charlatans (pick whatever makes you tick) from Greenpeace have released their new Guide to Greener Electronics. There have been plenty of changes compared to last year, with many manufacturers going, but others going down. Nokia is now at the top, near the 7/10 mark, but Nintendo keeps crashing miserably at 1/10. What about Greenpeace's archenemy Apple? Despite their latest efforts, it keeps failing and drops to the 14th position. It seems they are not impressed by Apple's latest green ads:
Apple's score increases slightly to 4.3 points, but the company drops to 14th position. Apple scores well for putting products on the market whose key components are free of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) and PVC vinyl plastic. Apple's latest iPods - the iPod Touch, Nano and Classic - are now free of both PVC and BFRs and the MacBooks, MacBook Pro and MacBook are almost free of these substances. While Apple has now positioned itself amongst the leaders in the electronics industry on phasing out toxic substances, to score more points the complete phase-out of PVC and BFRs in its iPods should be consistent across all other future product ranges. Apple also needs to commit to phasing out additional substances with timelines, improve its policy on chemicals and its reporting on chemicals management.
Apple scores poorly on most e-waste criteria, except for reporting a recycling rate in 2006 of 18% as a percentage of sales 7 years ago; however, it needs to provide details on how this is calculated.
It does slightly better on energy criteria for disclosing the carbon footprint of every model of product - although not exactly what is being evaluated in the criterion. Apple scores top marks (doubled) for all desktops computers, portable PCs and displays complying with Energy Star 4.0 and their iPod and iPhone power adapters exceeding the Energy Star standard, despite making this information difficult to access.
Despite the fact that I don't like Greenpeace Goebbelsian information tactics and their charlatanism, their arguments look reasonable for Apple and the rest of the manufacturers. However, their methodology seems weak, depending on the manufacturers instead of using their own field research, so take it with a grain of salt. [Greenpeace PDF Document via Treehugger]