Greenpeace: Apple Is Less Green Friendly Than Dell, HP and Nokia

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Apple takes pride in making its products environmentally friendly. It has worked to reduce its carbon footprint by keeping its product packaging to a minimum, removing toxic materials from its entire product line, making its devices more energy efficient and lots more.

However, the company isn’t the greenest of tech companies. It ranks fourth in Greenpeace’s “Guide to Greener Electronics,” with HP, Dell, and Nokia leading the way.

15 companies were ranked in the poll, which looks at three areas including energy, greener products, and sustainable operations. Apple ranked fourth out of the 15, up five places from the previous Greenpeace report, with a score of 4.6 out of 10. The Cupertino company was ranked highly for making its devices energy friendly, but ranked poorly for not using recycled plastics.

While Greenpeace does give credit to Apple for the efforts it has made to reduce its carbon footprint, it criticizes the company for not setting targets to reduce emissions, and requests that its greenhouse gas emissions be verified by an external source, according to an AppleInsider report.

Apple also received credit for exceeding its goals in global recycling during 2010, and for ranking first when it comes to policies and practices on sourcing conflict minerals. Greenpeace is also pleased Apple does not use PVC vinyl plastics, or brominated flame retardants.

Apple clearly takes its carbon footprint very seriously. In addition to ranking fourth out of 15 and taking steps to reduce environmental damage, the company has also enjoyed an advertising campaign that boasts about its products being green. They’ve even recently moved to set up a massive solar farm to power their new data server. However, Apple’s eco streak hasn’t always been there.

In August 2006, Greenpeace issued a report condemning Apple for its use of toxic chemicals, and started a “Green My Apple” campaign which saw a number of protests outside Apple retail stores. The campaign encouraged Apple to change its ways and prompted then-CEO Steve Jobs to issue an open letter in May 2007, which outlined Apple’s timetable for eliminating toxic chemicals from the company’s products.

Above Apple in Greenpeace’s latest report are Nokia, Dell, and HP, which scored 4.9, 5.1, and 5.9 respectively. Below the company are Philips with 4.5, Sony Ericsson with 4.2, Samsung with 4.1, and Lenovo with 3.8.