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Greenpeace delivers electronics score card

AFP

Technology

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LAS VEGAS: Consumer electronics manufacturers are making greener products than a year ago but more progress needs to be made before they can claim a truly environmentally friendly product, Greenpeace has said.

In its second greener products survey, "Green Electronics: The Search Continues," the environmental activist group assessed the progress made by consumer electronic companies in greening their products over the past year.

The Greenpeace survey was released at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, where manufacturers have been seeking to outdo one another this year in touting how green their products are.

The CES organisers have dedicated a special area in the convention hall to Greener Tech and among the products unveiled here was a mobile phone made of recycled plastic water bottles from Motorola.

For the survey, Greenpeace said 15 companies submitted 50 new products they considered their greenest for evaluation: mobile and smart phones, televisions, computer monitors, notebook and desktop computers, and game consoles.

The products were graded on use of hazardous chemicals, energy efficiency, innovation, promotion of environmental friendliness and lifecycle - whether they can be recycled and upgraded.

"Progress is being made," said Casey Harrell, Greenpeace International toxics campaigner. "We're no longer having to cajole people about the need for green.

"These companies understand both what green is and the need for it," he said. "We're moving in the right direction."

The Greenpeace survey found that fewer products contain harmful PVC plastic and hazardous chemicals and more post-consumer recycled plastic is being used in televisions and monitors.

Electronics manufacturers are also taking back more used products and engaging in more recycling, Greenpeace said.

But the "race for the green winner is still on," Harrell said.

"We're on the hunt for a truly green product that is free from toxic chemicals and excels in energy efficiency and durability," he said.

"The electronics industry has taken encouraging strides towards increasing the green features on some gadgets over the past year but none stand out in all environmental categories."

Greenpeace said the Lenovo L2440x wide computer monitor scored highest in the monitor category with 6.9 points on a 10 point scale.

Other category leaders were the Sharp LC-52GX5 television (5.92), the Samsung F268 mobile phone (5.45), the Nokia 6210 Smart phone (5.2) the HP Elitebook 2530P laptop (5.48) and the Lenovo ThinkCentre M58 Desktop (5.88).

Submitting products for the survey were Acer, Dell, Fujitsu Siemens, Hewlett Packard, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, RIM/Blackberry, Sharp, Samsung, Sony, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba.

Greenpeace said the following companies refused to take part: Apple, Asus, Microsoft, Nintendo, Palm and Philips.

Among the green initiatives announced at this year's CES was a joint program by Panasonic, Sharp and Toshiba to recycle televisions and other gadgets they sell in the United States.

The global firms on January 15 will begin using an Electronic Manufacturers Recycling Management network of 280 locations as collection centers for their products.

The network will have at least one recycling center in each US state and intends to expand to at least 800 drop-off points.