Apple drops, Wipro tops Greenpeace rankings

Greenpeace says Apple needs to be more transparent on its commitment to the environment

By , IDG News Service |  Green IT, Apple, Greenpeace

First-time surprise entrant Wipro tops the list of rankings in the 18th edition of the Greenpeace "Guide to Greener Electronics," with Apple dropping two spots to sixth compared to last year's study.

The guide, released Monday, analyzes technology companies on operational efficiency and commitment to the environment based on factors including green products and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said Casey Harrell, IT analyst at Greenpeace.

The environmental commitment of hardware companies is stronger and many have progressed in phasing out toxic chemicals from products, Harrell said. However, chemical emissions and energy use is increasing in the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing, assembly and shipping of consumer electronics and PCs, and that needs to be more efficient, Harrell said.

Wipro, which is based in India and known best as an IT services company, has a small hardware business. The company has increased its commitment to using renewable energy resources and has taken strides to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Greenpeace said. Wipro jumped over Hewlett-Packard, which topped the previous guide released in November last year. Wipro also scored high for recycling, supply chain and product take-back programs, according to the study.

Wipro was followed by Hewlett-Packard, which was a leader in discouraging use of materials like tungsten, tin and gold coming from conflict areas. Nokia remained in third place on the strength of its energy-efficient products. Nokia was followed by Acer, Dell and Apple. Notable companies missing from the guide included Asus and MSI.

Apple scored points on usage of renewable energy and products like Macs, which are energy efficient and free of harmful chemicals like brominated fire retardants (BFRs) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), Harrell said. But Greenpeace had a tough time coaxing specific information from the tight-lipped Apple, which was a factor that pushed the iPhone and iPad maker into sixth place, Harrell said. Apple did not disclose information on topics such as life cycles of products, the company's clean-energy advocacy policy or greenhouse gas emissions based on specific measurements.

Apple was consistent in its commitment to energy and received the same score as last year, but other companies jumped ahead because of their increased environmental commitment, Harrell said.

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