Apple still at bottom of green ranking

Apple is at the bottom of Greenpeace's rankings, whereas Lenovo has improved enough to grab the top spot

Greenpeace has published the latest update of its Guide to Greener Electronics, where technology firms compete to be rated as the greenest company. Apple is the best at being worst - it hasn't made any improvements since the last rankings - while Lenovo grabbed the top spot.

Competition among companies, increased demand from customers, and dialogue between firms and Greenpeace has played a part in giving some companies a higher score since the last guide was published in December last year.

When Greenpeace's list on environmental friendliness was first introduced in August 2006, Apple was in 11th place, above companies such as Acer , Motorola and Lenovo . The last ranking put Apple at the bottom spot where it remains in the March rankings.

The Greenpeace Guide to Greener Electronics rates tech companies' environmental policies for hazardous chemicals and waste. Chinese PC maker Lenovo was bottom of the table last August but has now grabbed the top slot. Nokia , the previous number one, is currently ranked second place.

LG Electronics and Sony lost points due to inconsistent recycling policies, and dropped out of the top five. The companies offer individual producer responsibility throughout the world but in the US they are both part of an alliance which opposes producer responsibility regulations, meaning that consumers should pay for recycling electronic waste.

Greenpeace spokeswoman Iza Kruszewska said Apple failed to stop using several types of harmful chemicals in its manufacturing processes, and has not set a timetable for phasing them out.

Apple disagrees

But an Apple spokeswoman we spoke to said the company does not support Greenpeace's ranking system. "We disagree with Greenpeace's rating and the criteria they chose.

"Apple has a strong environmental track record and has led the industry in restricting and banning toxic substances such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium, as well as many BFRs (brominated flame retardants)," she said.

Greenpeace's Kruszewska added that Lenovo has tried to lessen its environmental impact since the Greenpeace list was first published introduced in August last year. Lenovo was the first of the electronics giants to offer all customers the opportunity to give back computers for recycling, she said.

Greenpeace ranked 14 companies on their efforts to limit the use of hazardous chemicals in production and in ensuring that goods that become broken or obsolete are recycled.

The full rating list stacks up like this:

  1. Lenovo
  2. Nokia
  3. Sony Ericsson
  4. Dell
  5. Samsung
  6. Motorola
  7. Fujitsu-Siemens
  8. HP
  9. Acer
  10. Toshiba
  11. Sony
  12. LG.Electronics
  13. Panasonic
  14. Apple