The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Greener Electronics - Companies Backtrack on Toxics Phase-out

Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Lenovo still penalized for breaking promises on removing hazardous chemicals from their products


The latest edition of Greenpeace's "Guide to
Greener Electronics" (1) ranking, released today, reveals that the
world's biggest PC makers - Hewlett Packard (HP), Dell and Lenovo -
have failed to improve their low scores. All three maintain a penalty
point for backtracking on their commitments to eliminate polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from
their products by the end of 2009. (2)

has already received a public reminder of the need to re-prioritize
toxic chemical phase out, when Greenpeace activists returned "toxic
laptops" to the company's Chinese headquarters last week. Today, staff
at HP's Dutch headquarters were greeted on arrival by Greenpeace
activists confronting them with pictures of the pollution that HP's
toxic products cause in Asia and Africa. Greenpeace will continue to
escalate pressure on HP and other companies who fail to live up to
their voluntary commitments.

"Greenpeace takes voluntary
commitments very seriously and holds companies accountable for their
promises. There are no excuses for backtracking, and no reason for
these companies not to have PCs free of PVC and BFRs now," said
Greenpeace International Toxics Campaigner Tom Dowdall.

In 14th
place, HP continues to lag behind other PC brands in the ranking,
having postponed its 2007 commitment to phase out PVC and BFRs from its
computer products (excluding its server and printer lines) from 2009 to
2011. (3) Unlike Dell and Lenovo, however, it is not even putting PVC
and BFR-reduced products on the market. Nokia remains top with 7.4/10,
and Samsung (2nd)) and Sony Ericsson (3rd)) catching up with 7.1 and
6.5 points respectively.

LGE, Toshiba and Motorola move up the ranking to take 4th, 5th and 6th
Sony drops down from 5th to 12th position, as it has not kept pace with
progress made by other companies, especially on e-waste recycling
performance. At the bottom Lenovo also drops down due to further
weakening of its commitment on toxic chemicals phase-out.

new computer lines, virtually free of PVC and completely BFR-free,
demonstrate the technical feasibility and supply-chain readiness of
producing alternatives to these hazardous substances. (4) Dell, Lenovo
and Acer have also stayed ahead of HP, putting models on the market
that are free, or at least significantly reduced in their use, of PVC
and BFRs. Dell recently engaged in a public spat with Apple over
Apple's claims to have the greenest family of notebooks.(5)

ridiculous that some companies, such as Dell, are busy challenging
Apple's advertising claims when Apple is clearly leading its
competitors on toxics phase out. All PC companies should be
concentrating on matching or beating Apple's lead on this important
issue," said Dowdall.

Greenpeace is calling on companies to
eliminate BFRs and PVC from their product range. These substances are
harmful throughout the entire lifecycle of a product; phase-out reduces
pollution during the production and disposal of electronics and makes
products capable of being recycled in a responsible manner.

Greenpeace is a global, independent campaigning organization that uses peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future.

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