Updated: 9/11/06; 7:04:15 AM.
Gil Friend
Strategic Sustainability, and other worthy themes of our time

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

[Greenpeace]: The biggest names in electronics have just sat their first global exam on their green credentials. Ranked on their use of toxic chemicals and electronic waste (e-waste) policies only Dell and Nokia scraped a barely respectable score while Apple, Motorola and Lenovo flunked the test to finish bottom of the class.

The big surprises to me:

  • 11th place (!) Apple which was an industry environmental leader long ago (and a design leader forever) but which seems to have lost the flame (despite a customer base that should be all over this);
  • 3rd place HP, which has had a strong Design for Environment program, and a product take-back system designed as a profit center, not a regulatory burden, but which "loses points for failing to provide timelines for the complete elimination of toxic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and all brominated flame retardants (BFRs)";
  • tied-for-first place Dell, which may have come later to these commitments but seems to have applied its legendary systems and implementation brilliance to turning those commitments into results; and
  • 8th Toshiba and 9th place Fujitsu, which despite impressively detailed CSR reports still lag at consistently getting the toxics out. (Which calls to mind the analysis we did with SustainAbility a few years ago, asking whether the best CSR reporters are also the best performers. Our findings: not necessarily.)

(I may have more comments after reading the full reports in detail.)
8:28:10 AM    comment []  trackback []

[CIWMB]: After more than a decade of infrastructure and effort, early years of doubt and nay saying and a seismic shift in public opinion, California now diverts 52 percent of the 76 million tons of solid municipal wastes it generates yearly. The official 52 percent statewide diversion rate meets a legislatively imposed mandate and places the state at the forefront of national efforts to reduce and recycle our trash.

California's environmental leadership is critically important, both because of its size (as 5th or 7th or 10th largest "country" in the world) and because of its repeated demonstration that environmental and economic performance can go hand in hand. Another case in point: per capita energy use has stayed level in California over the past 30 years -- of major economic growth -- while doubling in the US as a whole.

Next move to watch: California's proposed AB 32 legislation, which will institute carbon caps at the state level -- in a state big enough to potential move the US past the inaction in Washington.
8:26:07 AM    comment []  trackback []

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