David Tebbutt, IWR Blog

Greenpeace has just published its seventh Guide to Greener Electronics. If you visit the website you can track your favourite manufacturer over the past eighteen months.

Despite lots of noise from the IT world about its green credentials it still falls short of the high standards demanded by the Greenpeace survey. In fact, in the seven reports to date, only one PC maker has ever reached an ’8’ – Lenovo. And that was a year ago.

The rankings are related to company policies on toxic chemicals and recycling. It is a mix of company claims and Greenpeace observation across a range of personal computers, mobile phones, TV’s and games consoles.

When companies are plainly competitive, then the chart serves a useful purpose. Acer, for example, ranks quite low among PC makers. If you were concerned about green issues rather than price (and this is still deeply unlikely) then you might standardise on Toshiba machines.

Once we get environmental regulations which penalise poor performers and/or reward good ones, then this will be reflected in prices. Goodness knows how long that will take but, in the meantime, we will probably continue to disregard any harm we might be accumulating for our descendants.

I carry no torch for Microsoft, but I did wonder what the heck it was doing in this survey. Especially so low. It’s not as if any other software companies were listed. Then a bit of digging reminded me that it makes games consoles and that was the basis for its inclusion. The trouble with this is that, without a clear context, it makes Microsoft the company look like a poor environmental performer.

If I were Microsoft, I’d demand a clarification.

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