Leading OEMs are green computing laggards

Some of the biggest names in the consumer electronics industry have taken few steps to reduce or eliminate toxic substances in their prudent, but several have leap ahead significantly, according to Greenpeace.

Greenpeace's latest Guide to Greener Electronics yielded mixed results: Some of the world's most recognizable consumer electronics brands came up short, but many have taken positive steps to ameliorate the use of toxic substances in their products.

Lenovo, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Toshiba scored the worst, having made little or no progress to phase out toxic substances including vinyl plastic (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). Nokia and Sony Ericsson were the "greenest," CNET reports.

Companies including Dell and HP made significant strides to be more ecologically friendly; while Apple, once heralded as a leader in green computing, fell back to the middle of the pack. Apple was faulted for being tight lipped about its upcoming toxic chemical phase-out plan.

Greenpeace highlighted Philips release of the world's first PVD and BFR free television set, and noted that Nokia and Sony Ericsson had the overall most environmentally friendly product lines. It's of particular interest that Philips has chosen to use that characteristic in its marketing campaign. Maybe it sees green in "green."

A more holistic view of the industry's environmental record would factor in the impact of e-waste , but I'm reminded of the old adage: "How do you eat and elephant? One bite at a time." The progress that has been made toward the elimination of toxic substances in electronics is (for the most part) considerable.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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