A greener Apple, but still not the greenest of device makers

HP tops list in Greenpeace International's Guide to Greener Electronics; Apple jumps to No. 4

It may have problems with its board of directors, corporate strategy and share price -- you know, minor stuff -- but there's one area where Hewlett-Packard is dominating its tech rivals: HP is the highest-scoring company in Greenpeace International's latest Guide to Greener Electronics.

The guide, launched by the non-profit organization in August 2006, "ranks leading mobile phone, TV and PC manufacturers on policies and practices to: reduce their impact on the climate; produce greener products; and make their operations more sustainable."

Greenpeace says the whole point of its greener electronics guide (the new one is Version 17) is to publicly pressure manufacturers to strive for the greenest possible operations and procedures.

HP had the highest "green" score -- 5.9 on a scale of 10 -- primarily because of its sustainable operations and program for measuring and reducing greenhouse gas emissions from suppliers.

The troubled PC manufacturer rose from the No. 4 position in Version 16 of the guide, released in October 2010.

Apple, which in 2007 was ranked dead last among 14 electronics companies, finished fourth in the guide version announced Wednesday with a score of 4.6, up from ninth place 13 months ago.

Greenpeace cited Apple's effectiveness in global recycling and producing green devices. The organization pushed Apple hard as far back as 2006, when it launched its GreenMyApple website to pressure the company to eliminate toxins from its products. In May 2007, CEO Steve Jobs announced Apple would eliminate PVC and BFR from all new products by the end of 2008.

The company that climbed the highest in Greenpeace's latest green guide was No. 2 Dell, which was ranked No. 10 in October 2010. The environmental organization said the U.S. computer maker, which had a rating of 5.1, "scores best on energy criteria with a strong target to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2015, but scores poorly on green products."

Finnish device manufacturer Nokia slipped from the top spot a year ago to No. 3. Was it the "burning platform" that did in Nokia, which owned the top slot since September 2008? Not according to Greenpeace, which said Nokia needs to "further develop" its clean electricity plan and set new targets to cut operational greenhouse gas.

And which of the 15 rated electronics manufacturers scored lowest in the Greenpeace guide? Newcomer Research in Motion, which got a rating of 1.6 for lacking both external verification of its greenhouse gas emissions and a clean electricity plan.

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