Free content by Fresh Content.net

Friday, October 2

HP’s new toxic-free product, Apple opens up on carbon emissions

Encouraging news from HP and Apple shows their positive response to Greenpeace’s campaign for greener electronics.

HP is rewarded in the latest edition of Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics for putting a PC on the market that is virtually free of PVC (vinyl plastic) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Only the power supply unit and cable still contain these hazardous substances.

“HP has made the first step in catching up with Apple, which eliminated these materials from its entire product line almost a year ago,” said Greenpeace New Zealand communications manager Suzette Jackson.

“HP’s action now puts pressure squarely on its competitors to put more products on the market that are cleaner and safer.”

Earlier this year, Greenpeace staged protests at HP’s headquarters in Palo Alto, USA, and at its offices in China and the Netherlands, in response to the delay1 on the company’s commitment to eliminate these substances from its computing products, by the end of 2009. With the ProBook 5310m Notebook 2, however, it appears that HP has now reprioritised its toxic phase-out commitment.

Last week, Apple made public details of its carbon emissions, which should improve its scores in the next edition of the Guide. With rising environmental concerns of the global consumer, company transparency on these issues is no longer optional and the next logical step for Apple is to act on reducing its emissions.3

Dell and Lenovo each retain a penalty point for delaying their phase-out commitments indefinitely. Acer claims that it will still achieve its target for eliminating PVC and BFRs4 in all products by the end of this year. Toshiba has a timeline to phase out these toxic substances in all its products by the end of March 2010.

Nokia remains at the top of the ranking, with a score of 7.5 out of 10, followed by Samsung with 6.9, Sony Ericsson with 6.5 and Philips – which leaps from 7th to 4th place - with 5.9 points. The other climber is Sony, rising from 12th to 8th place.

LGE plummets from 4th to 11th position, weighed down by a penalty point for backtracking on its timeline to eliminate PVC and BFRs in all its products by end of 2010 – now, only its mobile phones will be free of these toxic substances as of 2010, while phase-out in TVs and monitors has been delayed until 2012. At the bottom of the ranking, Fujitsu, with a score of 2.7, overtakes Lenovo, which drops from 16th to second-last place with a score of 2.5.

“Just two months before crucial climate change talks take place in Copenhagen, it is encouraging to see that Philips, Acer and Samsung support the levels of cuts required to stem dangerous climate change,” said Jackson.

“However, industry giants like Apple, Nokia and Microsoft still need to show true climate leadership.” Greenpeace’s Guide to Greener Electronics can be accessed at www.greenpeace.org/rankingguide