Toshiba green boycott backflip

The authors of a survey that severely criticised the computer recycling practices of some of the world's largest companies have retractedthe document and their calls for a consumer boycott of Toshiba products after complaints from the vendor.Environment Victoria (EV) -- which styles itself as the state's peak non-government environment organisation -- this month published a report on computer waste and vendor responsibility.

The authors of a survey that severely criticised the computer recycling practices of some of the world's largest companies have retracted the document and their calls for a consumer boycott of Toshiba products after complaints from the vendor.

Environment Victoria (EV) -- which styles itself as the state's peak non-government environment organisation -- this month published a report on computer waste and vendor responsibility. The report listed Toshiba and Apple as the worst offenders, citing reasons such as a lack of take-back policies on obsolete products.

However, the group has now withdrawn all comments in the survey on Toshiba.

"Toshiba did not have a reasonable opportunity to respond to Environment Victoria's survey or to provide the requested information regarding Toshiba's environmental policies and procedures," the group said in a statement.

"Environment Victoria accepts that its investigation into the environmental performance of Toshiba was incomplete and that, therefore, its rating of Toshiba and its computer products was incorrect."

Asked whether there was any legal pressure from Toshiba to publish a retraction, EV campaigner Jenny Henty said: "There didn't seem to be any intention to take this to court. They just wanted the right of reply."

A revised version of the report is to be published at a later date, according to Henty.

Henty said when releasing the initial report governments needed to pressure companies to take more responsibility.

"Because of industry laziness and poor government initiative, the vast majority of computers in Victoria are gathering dust in cupboards or being dumped in landfill," she said.

"Creating one computer uses the same amount of water, chemicals and fossil fuels as it takes to make one mid-sized car. So it is shameful that three in four computers are dumped or stockpiled".

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