For consumer electronics companies, going green (and vocally so) is the new going Apple white, though Apple's only halfway on the train. Greepeace's sixth guide to greener electronics tells us just how well they're doing. They're a bit nutty, but they are using definite criteria in this survey. Topping the list are Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Sony—not so surprising. Shocking: Nintendo's dead last, the first "global brand" to net zeros across the board. Does Greenpeace hate Nintendo more than Apple or something? No, Nintendo just gives out zero information about any of their policies or practices with toxic chemicals or green plans. Hence, FAIL.
The key to a good rating in this year's survey appears to going PVC plastic and BFR free and offering a solid takeback recycling program. Sony Ericsson and Samsung are both PVC-free and only use BFR in a few products, as well as maintain pretty good takeback programs. They both got a 7.7, though SE would've pulled further ahead with better publicity of its recycling program, and both got knocked for not doing the takeback deal in every country they sell products in.
To contrast, Microsoft's not going PVC-free until 2011, and they're not overly big on recycling e-waste. They got a 2.7, but aren't the bottom of the barrel. That would be Nintendo, the first "global brand" to net zeros across the board. But it's not because they're tossing old DSes into the mouths of baby seals or clubbing them with old Super Scopes. Basically they either won't give out any information about what's in its products or what they're planning greenwise, or simply have no set policy in place.
Given what happens to a lot of electronics taken back in third party drives, it seems reasonable to ask companies to take back their products to make sure they're properly recycled and disposed of, so they're not poisoning exploited workers or leeching nastiness into a dump somewhere. At least until there are better setups in place, since every new HDTV or Zune bought on Black Friday probably means an old one chunked in the trash. [Greenpeace via Kotaku]