Blog: Toxics

Greener machines in the latest electronics guide

Posted by jossc — 26 May 2010 at 10:21am - Comments

We've just released our latest edition of the Guide to Greener Electronics - the 15th since we started producing quarterly reports back in 2006. Find out which electronics producers are doing their bit for a cleaner environment. Just how green are big names such as Samsung, Dell, Apple and HP?

The guide ranks the 18 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TVs and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change.

There are detailed reports on each company's performance, plus an nifty new timeline showing how their ranking has changed over time since the first guide was launched - a helpful indication of how much effort they are making in this crucial area.

Check out the full guide on our international site »

BP = Biodiversity Perishes

Posted by Willie — 1 May 2010 at 5:25pm - Comments

Gulf of Mexico oil slick: the view from space © NASA

The Gulf of Mexico is in the news right now, because of a catastrophic oil spill. You will probably already have seen the pictures. We’ve already pointed out that this is yet another example of the impact our global dependency on oil is having, and how BP in particular, are at fault for their relentless pursuit of the black stuff. They’ll seemingly stop at nothing to fill up oil barrels.

The images we most associate with oil spills are of the impact on wildlife: sea otters in Prince William Sound , or seabirds in Shetland, covered with oil. It’s a dramatic and easily understood impact on our seas’ biodiversity.

BP rig disaster exposes its high risk investment strategy

Posted by jossc — 29 April 2010 at 3:17pm - Comments

Ships work to contain the oil spill © Sean Gardner/Greenpeace

Will they never learn? Today the Gulf coast of the southern US is facing environmental catastrophe. Over 200,000 gallons of crude oil a day is leaking from the wellhead of the destroyed BP rig Deepwater Horizon, creating a giant slick visible from space.

Which companies really sell greener electronics?

Posted by jossc — 7 January 2010 at 3:58pm - Comments

Want to know who's really pulling their finger out to give us products that cause the least environmental damage - then look no further.

Our ranking guide, published quarterly since 2006, shows clearly how the 18 top consumer electronics companies line up. But now we've produced a new chart showing which of those companies have eliminated the most harmful chemicals from their product ranges.

Roll over the stars in the chart below to see product details, and click the company name to visit their webpage about reducing harmful chemicals.

US is a dead weight on Copenhagen talks, pulling down ambition ever lower

Posted by jossc — 18 November 2009 at 6:46pm - Comments

This article by Greenpeace climate campaigner Joss Garman (above) first appeared in yesterday's Guardian.

In his inaugural address, President Obama promised to "work tirelessly to … roll back the spectre of a warming planet", and to "restore science to its rightful place", adding: "Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions – that time has surely passed."

You wouldn't know it from reading the Guardian this morning. Instead of sensing the spirit of "yes we can", you feel the familiar muscle of America's Big Carbon special interests. For months, US officials have been dampening expectations and lowering the bar on which climate measures could be expected from the new administration. This culminated yesterday in Obama signalling that he wants to delay a formal global climate agreement until next year at the earliest, rejecting the advice of his own science adviser, John Holdren.

Green points for Hewlett Packard and Apple in our latest electronics guide

Posted by jossc — 1 October 2009 at 11:55am - Comments

Apple and Hewlett Packard get green points this month, as HP is rewarded in the latest edition of our Guide to Greener Electronics and Apple releases details of their greenhouse gas emissions. But the big points go to activist consumers for proving once again that public pressure creates positive change.

Trafigura settle over toxic dumping after Greenpeace investigation, Guardian expose, and 15 deaths

Posted by christian — 17 September 2009 at 12:23pm - Comments

Greenpeace activists confront the tanker full of toxic sludge.

It reads a little bit like a John Grisham novel. An oil trading company at the heart of the city of London comes up with an innovative way to make massive profits by refining dirty gasoline. Only problem is, the process will produce a highly toxic sludge that is difficult to dispose of. Sure, they could pay an expensive fee to get it done in Rotterdam, but profits can be kept even higher by doing the dirty and dumping the caustic sludge in the city of Abidjan in the Ivory Coast, West Africa.

It's a plan designed to squeeze every last drop of money out of a dirty deal. But then the local population starts to suffer horrendous health effects, presumably from the toxic waste which has been dumped next to homes and workplaces. Whole areas of the city are evacuated, 15 people die, many more are permanently disfigured. People beseige health clinics demanding treatment.

Toxic cheats Hewlett Packard incur the wrath of Kirk

Posted by jossc — 30 July 2009 at 10:12am - Comments

When Hewlett Packhard staff arriving for work at the company's California HQ checked their phone messages yesterday morning, they found a recorded message from Star Trek's Captain James T Kirk waiting for them. Actor William Shatner urged them to question their boss, Mark Hurd, about the reasons why HP recently reneged on its promise to phase out dangerous toxic substances from its computers by 2009.

Green IT: broken promises from HP, Lenovo and Dell

Posted by jossc — 1 July 2009 at 4:55pm - Comments

We've given HP, Lenovo and Dell - the world's biggest PC makers - a penalty point in our updated Guide to Greener Electronics, for backtracking on their commitments to eliminate PVC plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) from their products by the end of 2009.

Success! Philips make a recycling policy u-turn

Posted by jossc — 26 February 2009 at 3:27pm - Comments

An old Philips TV at a scrap yard in Ghana

An old Philips TV at a scrap yard in Ghana

Last week we broke the shocking story about what actually happens to our electronic waste; instead of being safely recycled in the UK or Europe, much of it is instead being exported as 'second-hand goods' to places like Nigeria, China and India. Once there it's either sold for scrap, illegally dumped, or broken apart for recycling by some of the poorest people in the country, with no safety measures to protect them from the dangerous toxic chemicals like mercury, cadmium and lead which the e-waste contains.

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