Environmentalists Say Tech Industry Not Yet Green Enough

by | Jan 15, 2009

tech.jpgRecently, companies have released new more environmentally-friendly products or touted their commitments to improving the environment. While the tech industry is taking steps to make their products more energy-efficient and reduce their use of toxic materials, environmentalists say the industry can’t be described as eco-friendly just yet, Mercury News reports.

Elizabeth Sturcken, managing director of corporate partnerships for the Environmental Defense Fund, told Mercury News that many companies have been taking environmental issues seriously for years, but for others she says they are hiding behind the “green cloak” and have no substantive initiatives for the environment.

The growing importance of being green was obvious at the recent Consumer Electronics Show where Toshiba unveiled the Super Charge Battery, touted as longer lasting; LG announced that it is setting records with a new 32-inch TV which uses more than 50 percent less power than the average 32-inch LCD TV and Motorola showed off a new cell phone made from plastics comprised of recycled water bottles.

Daniel Kessler, a Greenpeace spokesman, told Mercury News that the tech industry is coming along because consumers are making green demands. But he and others say the industry has a long way to go. Each year, 400 million electronic devices end up in landfills, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. Meanwhile, 15 percent to 17 percent of the electricity used in the average California home goes to supplying power to tech gadgets.

Barbara Kyle, national coordinator of the Electronics Takeback Coalition told Mercury news that although computer and television companies have established recycling programs, often there are only a few collection centers in each state.

According to the latest green electronics research from Greenpeace, the greenest consumer electronic products on the market today may have a smaller environmental footprint than those sold a year ago, but they still have a way to go before they can claim a truly green product.

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