Washington, Nov 28: Nintendo, Nokia and Motorola have flunked a 'toxic test' conducted by the quarterly Guide to Greener Electronics.
The latest edition of the mag assessed for the first time TVs and the rapidly growing games consoles market and even the mobile market for their environmental credentials.
While Nintendo completely failed to show any environmental credentials, Microsoft and Philips did a little better.
The Greener Electronics Guide is a way of getting the electronics industry to face up to the problem of e-waste with an aim to make manufacturers get rid of harmful chemicals in their products.
The purpose of this guide is to see an end to the stories of unprotected child labourers scavenging mountains of cast-off gadgets created by society's gizmo-loving ways.
The Guide ranked companies according to their policies and practices on toxic chemicals and takeback. Along with mobile phone and personal computer companies, the biggest makers of TVs and games consoles were also added.
Old TVs are a large part of e-waste and the games console market is one of the fastest growing in consumer electronics.
Nintendo has the dubious honour of being the first company to score 0/10 in the guide. Microsoft did little better, scoring only 2.7. Philips is the lowest TV-maker scoring only 2.
The companies are new to the Guide and thus have plenty of room for improvement.
Sony Ericsson is heading the ranking, and has taken over number one spot from Nokia while Samsung and Sony have zoomed to now occupy second and third positions.
Nokia and Motorola have each had a penalty point deducted after it was found that their claims of global takeback were not being matched by actual practice.
The implementation of product takeback programmes in six countries where Motorola, Nokia and Sony Ericsson claim, on their websites, to operate product takeback programmes, was tested.
Nokia representatives in the Philippines, Thailand, Argentina, Russia and India were not informed about their companies' own programmes and in many cases provided misleading information.
Motorola staff in the Philippines, Thailand and India were unable to direct customers to collection points in their respective countries.
Therefore, Nokia falls from top position to ninth and Motorola drops from ninth position to fourteenth.
"Companies shouldn't be under any illusions that we won't check up on their claims of green greatness," commented Iza Kruszewska, toxics campaigner at Greenpeace International.
Companies making the most progress with new products without the worst toxic chemicals are now ranking higher than companies who have only committed to remove them in the future.
Toshiba has laptops free of toxic chemicals like vinyl plastic (PVC) and has reduced the use of brominated flame retardants (BFRs).
Apple's score improves slightly due to new iMacs reducing the use of PVC and BFRs.
All new mobiles from Sony Ericsson and Nokia have been free of PVC since the end of 2006.
The guide focuses on toxic chemicals and takeback policy because of the rapid growth in quantities of toxic e-waste being dumped in developing countries like China and India.
However, Nintendo's Wii console appears to be more energy efficient compared to the Microsoft Xbox and Sony Playstation, energy use is not yet covered in the ranking.
Many companies have made big strides to improve their products and recycling schemes since the introduction of the Guide.
But no company has so far succeeded in offering an entire range of products free of the worst toxic chemicals or a comprehensive, free, global takeback scheme to ensure responsible recycling. (ANI)
© 2007 ANI