Greenpeace Scales Dell Headquarters, Releases Greener Electronics Guide

by | May 27, 2010

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After releasing its latest Guide to Greener Electronics rankings, Greenpeace launched a campaign against computer giant Dell for backtracking on its public commitment to eliminate key toxic chemicals in its products by 2009. Greenpeace climbers scaled the company’s global headquarters in Texas and hung a banner off the building with a message to CEO Michael Dell: “Michael, What the Dell? Design Out Toxics.” Greenpeace also demonstrated at Dell’s offices in Bangalore, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.

Greenpeace is demanding that Dell provide a phase-out plan for the end of its use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) by the company’s new 2011 deadline.

Greenpeace is also running TV ads in Austin on several channels, including MTV and ESPN, that explain Dell’s backtracking, and asks Austin residents to call Dell’s CEO and tell him to honor his company’s commitment to phase out toxic chemicals.

Dell’s Michelle Mosmeyer responded to Greenpeace’s protest in an email statement to EarthTechling that says the company is “committed to integrating the most environmentally preferable materials into our products, and we’re working closely with our suppliers to accomplish this.”

Mosmeyer also stated that Dell plans to meet its goal to eliminate BFR/PVC from its products by the end of 2011 and already has some BFR/PVC-free or -reduced products on the market today. The company is working with its suppliers “to find reliable, environmentally preferable alternatives that maintain the performance standards our customers require,” she added.

Dell ranks number 10 in the quarterly Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics, penalized for its backtracking on PVC/BFR phase out.

In addition to Dell, Greenpeace penalized Toshiba (dropped from number 3 to number 14) and Samsung (fell to number 14 from number 3) for backtracking on their public commitments to eliminate toxic substances from their products in the most recent ranking.

Greenpeace reports that Apple’s and most of HP’s new computer lines are free of PVC and BFRs, demonstrating the technical feasibility and a supply chain of alternatives to these hazardous substances. Sony Ericsson, Nokia and Acer also are by making PVC and BFR free products available, according to the report.

The most improved companies include Panasonic, which moved from the number 10 position to number 6, HP up from number 11 to number 8 and Sharp from number 13 to number 9.

LGE falls from number 6 to number 12, losing points on its reporting on the energy efficiency of its products.

The Guide’s top five ranked companies are Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Philips, Motorola and Apple, while the bottom five ranked companies are Toshiba, Fujitsu, Microsoft, Lenovo, and Nintendo.

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