HP, Dell scrape a pass in green report card

Dell improves its 'environmental laggard status' but vendors still have a long way to go, says the latest report from the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition

Despite some improvements, most computer hardware vendors aren't doing enough about recycling and disposal of old equipment, according to a report from a US environmental research organisation.

Companies such as Dell and HP were praised for improving recycling efforts over the last year but still have an extremely long way to go according to the annual "report card" of vendor environmental behaviour from the Computer Takeback Campaign (CTB), a project run by the California-based environmental research group the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition.

"The results of the this year's Report Card indicate that while there have been measurable improvements by some companies, the progress is uneven and in most cases still at the beginning stages -- some companies have barely even begun," the report said.

Dell was singled out for 'The most improved performance award' by the CTBC. Last year the computer maker was singled out as an "environmental laggard" but achieved second place behind HP this time round after committing to phasing out the controversial use of prison labour in its recycling schemes and initiating a recycling programme for its US customers.

Although HP and Dell earned the highest scores, overall they barely managed to achieve a passing grade, the CTBC claimed, adding most manufacturers couldn't provide any recycling data for their US programmes at all.

The CTBC claims that manufacturers need to use their political muscle to put producer take-back policies -- vendors taking greater responsibility for recycling and disposal -- in place which only HP is doing now with modest support from Dell. IBM, Sony and Sharp are actively working to prevent legislation that advocates vendor responsibility, the CTBC claimed.