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Nokia applauded as green champion

The world’s biggest manufacturer of mobile handsets is also the world’s greenest electronics vendor, according to environmental campaigner Greenpeace.

Scoring seven points out of ten in the latest Greenpeace ‘Guide to Greener Electronics’, published this week, Nokia was shown to have regained lead position, due largely to its improved product take back and recycling practices in India.

Korean vendor Samsung tailed the Finnish firm with 5.9 points, driven by the energy efficiency of its products.

Sony Ericsson and parent Sony, which enjoyed the top two positions in the previous edition of the guide, rank fourth and fifth respectively this time around, but Greenpeace notes that they remain in the top half of the ranking with scores of 5.3 each. The handset joint venture has banned hazardous chemicals such as antimony, beryllium and phthalates since the beginning of the year.

Greenpeace said that Philips stands out as having a poor position on e-waste and recycling. With 4.3 points, the campaigner alleges that companies like Philips believe that the costs for responsible recycling of their obsolete and end of life products should be met by governments and consumers.

Apple’s score remains the same at 4.1 points, and while the company is applauded for announcing products free of BFRs, PVC and mercury, the downside is that Apple’s gadgets have a built in obsolescence; because of the high costs to replace batteries, new product purchase is encouraged.

Meanwhile, languishing at the very bottom of the rankings are Sharp with 3.1, Microsoft with 2.2 points and Nintendo, a victim of its own success through increased productivity and carbon emissions, with only 0.8 points.

Greenpeace said that the global Information and Communication Technology industry is estimated to be responsible for approximately 2 per cent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and the rapid proliferation of energy hungry electronic gadgets is part of this. “It’s vital that the electronics industry plays a leading role in producing more energy efficient products. Aside from assessing the efficiency of their products, we also score companies according to how much renewable energy they use and the level of their commitment to significantly reducing emissions,” the organisation said.

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