Hewlett Packard (HP) tops the IT industry for sustainable operations in this year’s 17th Edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics, produced by Greenpeace.
HP is followed by Dell, Nokia, Apple and Philips among the 15 leading mobile phone, TV and PC manufacturers ranked on Energy, Greener Products and Sustainable Operations.
HP won first place because of high scores on measuring and reducing carbon emissions from its supply chain, reducing its own emissions (9% since 2009) and advocating for strong climate legislation.
91% of its first-tier suppliers report on emissions. Along with Dell, it got the highest scores for is paper procurement policy – they are the only companies that have policies not to buy from suppliers linked to illegal logging or deforestation.
Areas for improvement include e-waste, where HP needs to expand its take-back program in countries without regulations. Although it scores high for disclosing its and suppliers emissions and setting targets to reduce them, it needs to set higher reduction goals of at least 30% by 2020 and to use more renewable energy.
HP is close to its goal of phasing out PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants in products.
Dell rose from #10 to #2 because it has the most ambitious climate target of reducing emissions 40% by 2020 (from 2007 levels), as well as its strong policy on sustainable paper sourcing.
Although it gets top marks for disclosure of externally verified GHG emissions from operations, it needs to make more progress toward its goal as well as increasing use of renewable energy, which has actually gone down as a percent of global electricity purchases (26% in 2009, 21% in 2011). Dell also has a relatively comprehensive take-back program.
After three years in first place, Nokia slipped to #3 because although it reached and exceeded carbon reduction targets through 2011, it doesn’t have a plan going forward.
It reduced GHG emissions 10% in 2009 and 18% in 2010 from 2006 levels and scores high for the energy efficiency of its products. All its products are free of hazardous substances except for antimony compounds, and it has a comprehensive voluntary take-back program in 100 countries for cell-phones.
Since many of the companies have improved practices, particularly on eliminating hazardous substances in products, since Greenpeace first did the ranking in 2006, they are upping the bar by challenging them to reduce their carbon footprint in manufacturing, in their supply chain and through the end-of-life phase of their products, improve sources for minerals and to set ambitious goals for renewable energy use.
“After many of the world’s leading electronics companies rose to the challenge of phasing out the worst hazardous substances, we are now challenging them to improve their sourcing of minerals and better managing the energy use throughout the supply chain,” says Greenpeace International campaigner Tom Dowdall.
Electronics products are both resource and energy intensive to produce, notes Greenpeace, and leading companies need to reduce their own energy use and use their influence in support of clean energy legislation. The ranking penalizes companies if they are members of trade groups that work against stringent energy efficiency standards and renewable energy.