CO2 Emissions

Published on November 25th, 2008 | by Ariel Schwartz

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Greenpeace Releases Tenth Guide to Greener Electronics

November 25th, 2008 by  


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It’s time once again for the Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics, and the results are sobering. Despite plentiful attempts at greenwashing, most electronics companies are not making the changes necessary to significantly cut carbon emissions.

American companies Motorola, Microsoft, Dell, and Apple are faring the worst, with no plans to cut global warming pollution and no targets or timelines for CO2 reduction.

Of all the companies surveyed, only Fujitsu, Philips, and Sharp support the cuts in pollution levels necessary to reach a 2020 target of cutting emissions by 30 percent in industrial countries. Additionally, only HP and Philips have committed to substantial cuts in their own emissions.

The electronics companies also had low scores in the usage of renewable energy, with only Nokia achieving the 25 percent clean power mark.

So while surveyed companies have made strides in reducing toxic chemicals in their products— all Apple products will be free of PVC and brominated flame retardants by the end of 2008—there is still much progress to be made in the electronics industry.

Photo Credit: Greenpeace






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About the Author

was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a senior editor at Co.Exist. She has contributed to SF Weekly, Popular Science, Inhabitat, Greenbiz, NBC Bay Area, GOOD Magazine, and more. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.



  • Takeback schemes should be the best solution whereby the suppliers of replacment equipment take away and responsibly deal with the old computer equipment taken away. Unfortunately there seems to be too much recycling going on and too little reuse (which offers a much more environmentally sound solution).

  • russ

    Improving the way things are built and done to reduce damage to the planet and for the benefit of all is essential.

    However – I would just love to have a pretty green button that I could push whenever I feel like curling the toenails of the green peace types.

    I would want it with replaceable parts as it would be used often.

  • russ

    Improving the way things are built and done to reduce damage to the planet and for the benefit of all is essential.

    However – I would just love to have a pretty green button that I could push whenever I feel like curling the toenails of the green peace types.

    I would want it with replaceable parts as it would be used often.

  • NickD

    Here’s another take – based on hundreds of user-submitted stories and thousands of votes – on who’s green and who is not in the consumer electronics world. Our users agree that Apple – despite their carefully crafted brand image – should rank near the bottom. But HP and Microsoft deserve to be ranked much higher.

    http://blog.vanno.com/index.php/2008/11/26/a-broader-look-at-greenpeace-green-electronics-bad-guys-microsoft-hp-and-apple/

  • NickD

    Here’s another take – based on hundreds of user-submitted stories and thousands of votes – on who’s green and who is not in the consumer electronics world. Our users agree that Apple – despite their carefully crafted brand image – should rank near the bottom. But HP and Microsoft deserve to be ranked much higher.

    http://blog.vanno.com/index.php/2008/11/26/a-broader-look-at-greenpeace-green-electronics-bad-guys-microsoft-hp-and-apple/

  • Samuel

    It’s one thing to make packaging that opens without a box cutter (or keys). It’s entirely another to actually develop a systemic plan to reduce emissions.

    I suppose its nice that you companies are doing something but the point, clearly, is that to meet 30% emissions reduction goals by 2020 they need to do much, much more.

  • Samuel

    It’s one thing to make packaging that opens without a box cutter (or keys). It’s entirely another to actually develop a systemic plan to reduce emissions.

    I suppose its nice that you companies are doing something but the point, clearly, is that to meet 30% emissions reduction goals by 2020 they need to do much, much more.

  • Justin M

    What is this crap about US electronics companies not doing anything about greenhouse gasses? Has anyone noticed how much Apples packaging has changed in the last 4 years? What was the last time you had to use a box cutter to open a new MacBook or iPod?

    Dell has been on an environmental mission for years. They are cutting energy requirements in nearly all their product line. You can read it here (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2300/74/).

    This rating also seems to ignore the huge changes the industry is going through. Questions such as “how do energy-sipping netbooks affect the environment” seem to be NOWHERE in the discussion.

    Both Dell and Apple have had computer recycling programs for years. Who in the hell puts a laptop in the trash?

  • Justin M

    What is this crap about US electronics companies not doing anything about greenhouse gasses? Has anyone noticed how much Apples packaging has changed in the last 4 years? What was the last time you had to use a box cutter to open a new MacBook or iPod?

    Dell has been on an environmental mission for years. They are cutting energy requirements in nearly all their product line. You can read it here (http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/2300/74/).

    This rating also seems to ignore the huge changes the industry is going through. Questions such as “how do energy-sipping netbooks affect the environment” seem to be NOWHERE in the discussion.

    Both Dell and Apple have had computer recycling programs for years. Who in the hell puts a laptop in the trash?

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