Greenpeace this week said that PC maker Lenovo was the world's most environmentally friendly electronics firm, thanks to dramatic improvements in its hardware recycling efforts. Meanwhile, Mac-maker Apple, which has global warming guru Al Gore on its board of directors, came in dead last on the list of 14 firms Greenpeace highlighted.
Greenpeace began issuing its environmental ratings for electronics firms on a quarterly basis last year. The organization examines which toxic chemicals electronics firms use while making hardware, and what efforts the companies employ to help former customers recycle their products when they're no longer usable. Greenpeace says that no electronics firms are truly "green" in that all of them contribute, in some way, to environmental distress.
Lenovo, which topped the list this quarter after ranking poorly in the last survey, made big gains by offering no-questions-asked recycling services for old hardware in all of the countries where its products are sold. However, Lenovo also uses some of the most toxic chemicals possible in its manufacturing plants.
Last place Apple lost marks for its toxic chemical use and poor recycling efforts. In fact, as Apple fans, Greenpeace is so disturbed by Apple's poor marks that it's set up a special Web site describing the problems. "Why do Macs, iPods, iBooks and the rest of \[Apple's\] product line contain hazardous substances that other companies have abandoned?" the site reads. "A cutting edge company shouldn't be cutting lives short by exposing thousands of children in the developing world to dangerous chemicals."
According to Greenpeace, the top five most environmentally friendly electronics firms are Lenovo, Nokia, Sony/Ericsson, Dell, and Samsung. The remainder of the list includes Motorola,
Fujitsu/Siemens, Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Toshiba, Sony, LG Electronics, Panasonic, and Apple.